Squash facilities around the world will be opening their doors to welcome newcomers to the sport on the 13th edition of World Squash Day tomorrow, Saturday 22nd October.
The theme for 2016 is to promote the social side of the game and, for the second year, the event is raising funds for Unicef.
England’s three-time world champion Nick Matthew, who recently launched his own Squash Academy in Sheffield, has encouraged every squash club in the world to support the 2016 event.
“Every champion began playing in their local squash club. I know I did,” said the 36-year-old former world No.1 who this month celebrated his 72nd appearance in a PSA World Tour final at the US Open. “The wonderful thing about squash is that it creates lifelong friendships. Two players can be hugely competitive on court during their match and then go for a drink together afterwards.”
Matthew, from Sheffield, was awarded the OBE for his services to the sport and he is a vocal campaigner for squash to be included in the Olympic Games.
He added: “While it was great to watch all those amazing athletes in action in Rio, that joy was tempered with a degree of bitterness that squash was not involved.
“World Squash Day gives us the opportunity to showcase the sport and show the rest of the world what they are missing.
“My own club, Hallamshire in Sheffield, has always been a keen supporter of World Squash Day and we will be working flat out this year to promote the sport and raise money for Unicef.”
Squash is rated one of the healthiest sports in the world. It is also a sport for life, with competitions starting at under-11 level and continuing through all the age groups to Masters events for players aged 80 and above.
National Federations and clubs across all continents will be arranging ‘open door’ sessions, running events, or simply fundraising for Unicef UK and their own charities.