The global COVID-19 pandemic has done little to slow down the construction of squash courts in Winchester, with squash court and sports flooring contractor Courtcraft revealing that 14 of the 35 new courts they will have built throughout 2020/21 will have been constructed in the city.
While the pandemic has seen squash clubs shut their doors due to the various nationwide lockdowns and the UK government’s tier system, Courtcraft say that 2020 was an above average year for new squash court construction.
Winchester, in particular, has been a hot spot for these new builds, with 14 courts built at sites across the city, including Winchester College and Winchester Leisure Centre.
Courtcraft Managing Director Tommy Smith says that it is encouraging to see so many new builds continuing construction despite the many challenges thrown up by the pandemic at present.
“With the exception of the first government-enforced lockdown of construction sites, Courtcraft have been fortunate to continue carrying out business as normal,” Smith said.
“The refurbishment side of squash courts has been impacted with the shutdown, but most have used this as an opportunity to service the courts whilst they are out of action. 2020 was an above average year for building new squash courts and facilities, while we also have a full order book for 2021 with approximately 15 new build squash courts. Combined with 2020, that totals over 35 new build courts, 14 of which are just in Winchester.
“It is encouraging to see that new courts are still being built every year and the sport of squash is still an important requirement for colleges, universities and leisure centres.
“Compared to previous years, the number of new squash court builds is similar, however Courtcraft have invested heavily in the development of our own modular court system which is accredited to WSF standards. This investment has resulted in Courtcraft securing a greater market share of new build projects within the UK. Our next challenges are to finalise the conversion of our moveable wall into an electric version and to increase our global market share of modular squash courts.”
WSF Chair of the Courts & Equipment Commission, Tom Oldroyd, echoed Smith’s thoughts, saying: “The WSF is at the forefront of ensuring the construction of high-quality squash courts and supporting our accredited partners. We strive to support all development of new squash courts globally.
“We welcome innovation in the sport and we aim to make the sport more accessible for all.
“The construction of new squash courts and the creation of a new squash hub in my home city of Winchester is an exciting development. Despite the current restrictions, this is a really positive outcome and should really help develop the sport.”
For more on WSF accredited partners, head here.