“Squash: the healthiest sport in the world.”
It was almost 15 years ago that Forbes Magazine ranked the game of Squash as the healthiest sport in the world. For so long, us players, enthusiasts, promoters, and directors have been bragging about the unique benefits our sport offers. Work is being done, and we can do even more. It is not possible, being the best as we say, that just as a good health care system, security, access to electricity and clean water, to mention a few, the game of squash is just for a very selected group.
We are not comfortable with that thought, and we are up to do something about it. That is what inspired us and that is what marks the creation of our different lines of innovative Sports Courts and Trucks.
Circumstance Meets Opportunity
One of the main reasons why Squash, even being rated by Forbes as the best, is yet to gain popularity and increase in awareness and engagement, comes down to the high cost of court construction. Period. In most countries, the current high cost can only be covered by private clubs and hence its practice reduced to a few members. But the truth is, there is no need to build a full size officially sanctioned squash court to teach and learn the game. Not an expensive one, not a cheap one. You need imagination, a space and some passion.
Under this premise, comes also the fact that if we analyze a Population Triangle of Squash players and fans, it will reveal that we are missing out on a huge growth opportunity; a backwards growth I call it. And while introduction of technology designs makes the court more visible and eye appealing, it at the same time decreases the opportunity for the lower part of the triangle to ever get a chance to be on one of those courts, to be able to play the game.
Just as a golfer doesn’t need a full 18 hole course to learn and practice his whole game;
Just as a soccer player doesn’t need a full soccer field or stadium to learn and practice his dribbling and juggling skills;
Just as a basketball player doesn’t need a full court to practice his free throws and three point game;
Just as a baseball player uses a batting cage to practice their hitting;
Just like those and almost any other sport in the world, Squash can also be practiced and taught at different levels without the full sized court.
The concept is simple. It is not new and most of the best athletes in the world dreams are first conceived under it. History has proven with examples, such as those many soccer star stories that have started their careers in the streets of the most dangerous parts of town. And like that we can find many other examples in the form of baseball and basketball players, marathon runners, cyclists and more. Squash itself already has its example with Hashim Khan, who was introduced to the game while serving as ball boy to the outside squash courts, were he would later play barefoot. For non squash enthusiast, Hashim Khan was the precursor of the most successful squash dynasties in the history of the game. He has already proven this concept successful, he had that one opportunity, to grab one racket, hit one ball and fall in love. An opportunity boosted by a circumstance that can trigger the way to greatness.
To best describe it:
I don’t need the back half of the court if I will train my short game or if I will teach most 5-8 year olds.
I only need half court if I want to work on my solo, doubles or triple rail exercises.
You can run “Court sprints” and do ghosting outside the courts.
Depending on the space, different areas of the game can be taught, trained and that is what we are about to do.
Besides serving a specific purpose for Squash Para Todos operating program, this concept can also benefit the game of squash in general. Scaling with this type of center/school/park adaptations could allow to:
Build cheaper more accessible courts and training spaces
Increase in Awareness of the game in general
Recruitment, Increase in Participation and equal opportunities
More players equal a natural general level improvement growth
More and bigger events
Higher prize money
SQUASH REIMAGINED Version 1.0
Name of the Project: Centro Educativo Marcelino García Flamenco (El Salvador Public School)
In collaboration with Squash Para Todos & Glasswing International
School population: 800+
Grades served: 1st thru 6th
Recovering underutilized and wasted space. The area adapted corresponded to a more than a 5 year abandoned semi garden like area behind the school cafeteria. Rainy season represented mud flooding and mosquito related health hazards such as Dengue Fever, Zica and Chicungunya. Dry season represented dust and respiratory hazards.
A concrete base replaced the mud and dust issues on the close to 150 square meters that cover the courtyard. The nature of the space already offered the opportunity of an almost full court, and a half court. With all the adaptations, according the level of play, 6 to 8 players can be served simultaneously.
More than just courts, a
Glasswing extracurricular sports club & physical education curriculum inclusion.
Assistant coaches to be a Squash Para Todos recent high school graduate, now college student.
Initial +600 students practice at least one period of their physical education curriculum during the school year.
40-60 2nd to 6th grade students actively playing 2/3 days a week while enrolled in Glasswings extra curricular Squash Club.
Every year, 5 to 10 6th grade students will receive scholarships to attend the Squash Para Todos training center were they will train daily, receive full support with general academics, English lessons and sports psychology.
2020 - 2 more schools
2021- 2 more schools
2022 - sPorts reimaGined / Squash Para Todos Squash Complex