Grampain Squash Club Members celebrate

Focus On ... Squash

Introducing nearly 700 young people in Grampian to Squash for the first time.

In the bustling city of Aberdeen, a sport initiative has seen a large growth in the sport of Squash in the local community, introducing nearly 700 young people to the exhilarating sport for the very first time. Thanks to a combination of dedicated coaches, supportive partnerships, sponsorships and DCI funding from sportscotland, Squash has become a burgeoning activity within the region. 

Squash in Schools

InThe idea for the initiative were initially discussed years ago, but it wasn't until the tumultuous times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that the idea truly took root and blossomed into reality.

The innovative programme, where coaches collaborate with Active Schools to venture into schools a day and a half each week, to introduce pupils to the sport of squash within the lively confines of gym halls. Within the sessions, pupils from Primary 5 to 7 are introduced to the fundamentals of Squash, hoping to ignite a spark of interest that transcends the sessions.

One of the driving forces behind this initiative is Joe Ewen, Lead Coach for the project, a passionate advocate for making squash accessible to all. Joe's approach is simple yet effective – adapt the sport as necessary and ensure that every participant feels included and valued. Through his efforts, young players are not only introduced to Squash but are also provided with a clear pathway to further pursue their newfound passion, whether at local squash clubs or beyond.

What is the impact?

The ultimate goal of the programme is to plant the seeds of interest in the sport, nurturing an interest in squash that extends beyond the school walls. Over a span of 6-8 weeks that they spend in each school, Joe and his team work tirelessly, planting the seeds of enthusiasm that will hopefully blossom into a lifelong love for the sport. And at the end of each block, they aim to pass the torch to willing volunteers, ensuring that the participation within the sport continues.

The results of this initiative speak volumes, with nearly 700 children from schools across the North-East given the opportunity to experience the thrill of squash firsthand. Joe Ewen said;

“It’s because everyone has worked together. From sportscotland, Scottish squash, to local Active Schools, the facilities, coaches – everyone. It’s made it easier to see the big numbers become involved. It’s been good to see such a collaborative approach across the project. From organisations and individuals.”

However, it's not just about participation; the area has also seen increased results in the performance arena. In 2023, the Grampian region saw a significant uptick in squash talent, with a notable increase in the number of young players entering the country's top junior competitions. What was once a mere trickle of participants has now surged to close to 10% of all entrants hailing from clubs in the area.

Joe Ewen is equally proud of the human impact of the project too;

"It's been great for us to see participants pick up a racket and really embrace Squash as "their" sport. It's honestly great. However, it feels event better helping young people find their own identity. If Squash can play a small part of that, then even better"

 

Find out more

- Scottish Squash

- Active Schools Aberdeen

- Squash on Sport First

Share links

Related Articles

Zap 9322

Sport For Life 23: Aberdeen Sports Village Table Tennis Academy

Young people from a range of backgrounds are enjoying table tennis

Read More
Northfield Boccia 3

Boccia brings mums together

How boccia sessions are providing a space for mums to connect in Aberdeen 

Read More
Female paddler in action

Focus On ... Paddling

The future of Paddlesport in Scotland looks brighter—and more diverse—than ever before. 

Read More