This time last year Scottish Squash did not even have an official women’s team, let alone a clear progression in female participation rates.
Twelve months on they have a great deal to be proud of and a lot of the credit goes to their Girls Do Squash initiative and its impressive young talisman, Georgia Adderley.
In 2017, squash was selected as one of nine sports in Scotland to take part in the exciting Girls Do Sport campaign created by a partnership between Scottish Women in Sport and the University of the West of Scotland. The other sports were tennis, sailing, roller derby, gymnastics, basketball, hockey, boxing and athletics.
Aged 17, the unassuming Georgia Adderley has already been making significant waves in the Scottish Squash landscape, currently rated No.2 in the senior women’s rankings having won the British Championship at under-17 level and the Sterling Trucks Scottish Senior National Championships. Georgia was chosen to represent her country at the European Team Championships in Helsinki in 2017.
This fantastic list of achievements is made even more impressive by the fact that Georgia only first picked up a squash racket six years ago…
Despite her relatively short squash experience, Georgia has always been a passionate sports player, having also played football for Spartans in Edinburgh. However, Georgia left Spartans to place her full focus on achieving her dream of playing squash professionally.
Her only setback at times has been a lack of competition, as Georgia explains.
"At the moment as there is only a small number of senior [female] players playing at a high level in competitions. We were coming across each other on a regular basis, which can be challenging."
To try to combat this issue and gain a deeper understanding of how her sport works, Georgia took up an internship with Scottish Squash in June 2017.
Girls Do Squash
As part of her internship, Georgia began to study female participation within squash at a deeper level, capturing emerging patterns and identifying what more could be done to help develop squash in Scotland.
With support from Scottish Squash, Georgia began to study ongoing statistics relating to squash and comparative sports and organisations, and meanwhile began to assemble what would become a strong group of girls at the core of the Girls Do Squash project.
Maggie Still, Chief Executive of Scottish Squash, discussed Georgia's influence with us;
"[Georgia] brought a real passion to grow the women’s game of squash in Scotland. She brought focus to the challenge and helped Scottish Squash to see the relevance of their efforts first hand."
One of the first outcomes from the initiative was a “come and try” day at The Grange in Edinburgh in July 2017. As well as providing competition, it promoted a collaborative atmosphere where players of all abilities could seek assistance in developing their skills from Kevin Moran, part of the bronze medal-winning team at the European Team Championships in 2016.
Georgia and the governing body have also been working closely with the Scottish Squash Rackets Club in Glasgow to provide coaching clinics for BME (black and minority ethnic) communities in the areas. As a result, they have seen a noticeable rise in female participation within the region and many have continued to be linked to the club.
Despite these successes, Georgia continues to look to the future, both for herself and her sport. Currently studying at Edinburgh College and having applied for university to study Sports Science, Georgia continues to progress academically as she maintains her progression through the senior rankings.
However, her work off the court also continues to develop as, together with Scottish Squash, she begins to roll out the “come and try” days to different clubs around the country.
Find out more
For more information on Scottish Squash, visit their website here.
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