Squash was one of the sports showcased in Birmingham city centre at Centenary Square as part of the One Year to Go event ahead of the start of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The celebratory event was open to the public to come along and try out a number of sports and meet the professional athletes that will compete at the Games, with squash being one of five sports to go on a year-long series of community engagement roadshows in the lead up to the Games.
The squash showcase included two quarter-size perspex mini squash courts and a Batak wall for passers-by to come and try out the sport, some for the first time, with professional players such as English duo Declan James and Millie Tomlinson in attendance, along with Welsh pair Tesni Evans and Joel Makin.
The demonstration was co-ordinated by Squash United, the brainchild of West Midlands-based squash enthusiasts, clubs and organisations with the aim of building a lasting squash legacy from the Games.
Squash United is also recognised by the Birmingham 2022 Legacy Programme and comes with the full backing of England Squash, the World Squash Federation, the Professional Squash Association and Rackets Cubed.
“We’re putting together a programme to invigorate squash in the West Midlands and across the country,” said Mike Harris from the Squash United programme.
“We can’t take a full squash court out to the community, so we brought the mini squash courts here and to take to schools, festivals and hopefully to the Commonwealth Games itself. We got the idea to build them and on a day like today when it’s raining, it doesn’t matter because all the sports are out here having fun.”
James, a 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, added: “One of the good things about the sport is introducing new people to it, kids even more so because you can see the enthusiasm they have for it.
“It’s great to have an opportunity like this to showcase the sport and the perspex courts are great, I’ve never seen anything like that before. It’s great to see kids being passionate about something.”