This summer, the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) became the first African nation to host a WSF Level 2 coaching course.
Last August, the NSF and top squash coach Matt McFahn laid the groundwork for sustainable growth with a new coach education structure, with McFahn designing and delivering an intense four-day practical NSF Level 3 course.
Now, the Englishman has built on this strong start by leading nine candidates through another NSF Level 3 course before 27 coaches undertook the WSF Level 2 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, making Nigeria the first nation in Africa to host such a high-level WSF course.
“It is really great to be the first country in Africa to hold this program,” NSF President Boye Oyerinde said afterwards. “This is really great for Nigeria and for the Nigeria Squash Federation and we look forward to seeing positive changes in the development of squash in Nigeria across the different Junior categories to the senior level. This is part of our long term development plan to position Nigeria amongst the top squash playing countries in the world and we are happy that this has materialised.”
Oyerinde added that one of the valuable lessons taught by the COVID-19 pandemic was the streamlining of distance interaction to deliver elite coaching more affordably. For the WSF Level 2 candidates, this meant that they were able to be directly assessed digitally by World Squash Coaching Programme Manager Michael Khan.
McFahn said: “I was thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Lagos so soon after our work last year, continuity and sustainability are really important to me to help keep coaches engaged and enthusiastic who do not get lots of access to first-hand knowledge and experience.
To deliver the first ever WSF Level 2 course anywhere on African soil was an honour and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with and support Nigerian squash in the future.”
The success of the WSF Level 2 course comes as further proof of the development of squash in Nigeria and Africa. Squash will be present at next year’s African Games for the first time in 20 years, a number of African nations have been expanding grassroots squash programmes, and Nigeria and Ghana recently played a series of matches to help Ghana prepare for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.