Luton and Dunstable Squash Club launch outreach programmes to encourage more people to play squash
The club wants to raise awareness of the sport to increase participation
Luton and Dunstable Squash Club has launched a number of outreach programmes in an attempt to get more people in the area playing squash.
Sanjay Roy, a coach at the club, wants to use the programmes to raise awareness of the sport that has seen a fall in the number of people playing during the pandemic.
The club wants to reach all parts of the community and wants to send a message that squash is a sport for everyone.
Sanjay said: "It has been more difficult for squash compared to other sports in the pandemic.
"In Luton, and across the country, participation has massively dropped.
"As an indoor sport, we were one of the last sports allowed to play again as restrictions eased.
"However, we are back open without restrictions and with the support of England Squash and Active Luton we have devised various programmes to help the local community get fitter in a safe, without prejudice and fun environment!
"We already have seen a rise in participation in our Squash 101 programme which is for adults who have never played the sport before!
"We are on a mission to make squash accessible to all parts of Luton's community and in particular women and children
"We want to help the sport grow in Luton and Dunstable.
"One of the other things going against us, is that it is still not an Olympic sport, which is a great stage to showcase sports and tends to increase participation.
"What I am trying to do is move away from the stereotype that squash is a white, middle class sport for middle aged men, it is inclusive and everyone is welcome to come and join in
"Active Luton have been really supportive with the different events we are holding.
"We are running various outreach programmes this year, including for women and children and the Polish community and for the Asian community next year.
"We have various open days where anyone can come and try the sport for free. We provide all the equipment.
"We also will be offering a primary school programme to all primary schools in Luton to develop the sport amongst children and we hope to end the year with a Luton Schools tournament. "
Luton and Dunstable Squash Club, based at Active Luton's Lewsey Park venue, is holding outreach programme events on the following days:
> Every Monday - Squash 101 sessions
> Every Tuesday - Social Squash
> September 19 to 26 - Women's Squash Week
> September 29 - Poland Squash open day
> October 9 - World Squash Day
> October 16 - Club Championships
> November 6 - Open afternoon
> November 27 - Club Doubles Tournament.
Sanjay added: "Squash is for everyone, it is an inclusive sport and I want to highlight that.
"We want to move away from any negative stereotypes that squash may have and bring in a new and fresh generation of players.
"These players can be anyone, even those who have never held a squash racquet before or those who haven't played for a long time.
"Squash has so many physical and mental health benefits and we believe that we can help the local community become involved in a positive way with the sport.
"I am also running one on one sessions for people who have never played before, they come down, and I teach them the basics.
"There is nothing for people to be afraid of, come and try it, and if it's not for you, then that's okay.
"We want to try and grow the membership numbers and get people involved."
If anyone wants to get involved in the sport, or if anyone wants to get fitter doing something that is fun and motivating, please contact us at [email protected].