World Squash Day 2022 will bring colour and excitement to the game all over the globe on Saturday (October 15).
Multiple events are taking place on every continent as clubs and federations get creative in a bid to attract a new generation of players to the sport.
Interactive walls will be in use in various parts of the world to promote the game to a younger audience.
For Singapore Squash, it forms part of a hugely creative World Squash Day programme that includes the Mixed Reality Squash and the Splash Paint Squash project, in which members of the public are invited to hit paint covered squash balls at the glass court at Singapore Island Country Club.
Alex Wan, general manager of Singapore Squash, said: “The Mixed Reality Squash will also be back on World Squash Day and we hope existing players will bring along their friends and families for a day of fun and games.
“They can experience squash like never before, with interactive games such as Mecha Invasion, Squashing Ducks, Space Kittens and more!
“All the participants who get on court at the Kallang Squash Centre will be entered into a lucky draw with three lucky winners walking away with free tickets for the forthcoming Marigold Singapore Open.”
In England, Crowborough Tennis and Squash Club will be inviting the public to try out the new interactiveSQUASH court that was opened recently by three-times world champion Nick Matthew.
Club coach Lee Wicks, who is the UK distributor for interactiveSQUASH, said: “We are delighted to be helping to promote World Squash Day in a unique and exciting way.
“A number of clubs around the globe with an interactiveSQUASH system are promoting not only squash and Squash57 but also the fun, entertainment and general fitness that can be enjoyed on a squash court.
“We are teaming up with interactiveSQUASH partners and their host clubs in the UK, Holland and around the world and will use a new competition leader board to run an international game of “Alien Hunt” for the kids and beginners and a “Figure 8” game for the adults and regular players.”
Raising funds for charity is a popular theme for this year’s World Squash Day.
The town of Crowborough has provided accommodation for a large community of refugees from war-torn Ukraine and Lee added: “We are inviting our new neighbours from Ukraine to come and join us on World Squash Day. All the monies raised by these events will go towards helping the Ukrainian Squash Federation to rebuild their facilities.”
Twenty five miles from Crowborough, Kent club Biddenden is holding a 24-hour marathon to raise funds for the Trussell Trust, which provides emergency food relief for those in need.
Thurles Squash Club in County Tipperary, Ireland, is holding a 12-hour marathon to raise funds for Downs Syndrome Tipperary.
The Celtic Squash Club in Waterford is holding a Squash Blitz to attract new members and to raise funds for the Helping Hand charity which provides food and support for the homeless.
In South Africa, the Durbanville Squash Club is supporting the Phoenix Project, an initiative that was launched by club chair Charmaine van Niekerk.
The club provides coaching and development to a group of children who have been placed in protective care after suffering from domestic abuse. Durbanville members aim to collect squash gear and donations to provide kit for the children.
Squash New Zealand is once again partnering with the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation (MHF) as the charity for World Squash Day, with the PSA Foundation raising money for mental health causes.
A spokesperson for Squash NZ said: “This year Squash New Zealand and the Districts have agreed to re-partner with the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation (MHF) as the charity for World Squash Day.
“The charity fits well as we both support healthy lifestyles and we look forward to building a meaningful relationship that provides good health outcomes for New Zealanders.
“Exercise, connectivity, and a sense of belonging plays a large role in everyone’s mental wellbeing, so let us come together to share our love for squash and open our doors to welcome members of the community into our clubs and invite new people to play our great sport.”
In Australia, Daisy Hill Squash Club is partnering with Zephyr Education, a Brisbane-based charity helping children whose lives and education have been disrupted by domestic violence.
Club owner Brad Hindle, a former professional on the PSA World Tour, said: “A lot of Zephyr’s work is to encourage children to live healthy lives through sport and we are pleased to offer our total support.
“We are launching our fund-raising with a Poker Night followed by a day of squash activities and social functions.”
Raising the profile of the sport, Squash and Racquetball Victoria is holding a Celebrity Challenge in Melbourne.
Squash Australia CEO Robert Donaghue will be taking to the court at Melbourne Squash and Aquatic Centre to play former Test cricketer David Hussey, who now coaches Melbourne Stars.
Other celebrities in action include comedian and TV personality Dave Hughes, Celebrity Masterchef George Calombaris, Olympic badminton player Gronya Sommerville, former AFL player and mental health advocate Mark Eustice, 3AW Weekend Breakfast presenter Darren James, and House of Representative member Peta Murphy MP.
Squash stars Rex Hedrick (Australia) and Adrian Waller (England) will be playing an exhibition match and former women’s world champions Sarah FitzGerald and Cassie Thomas will also be in action.
Karl Mayne, General Manager of Squash Victoria, said: “After a difficult few years for the sport, we hope the day will bring joy to our community and help raise the profile of the game, one that was much loved by Australians during the 70s-90s, and we are committed to returning its position as one of the premier sports in Australian culture.”
Outdoor squash is a major development project championed by the WSF and the PSA Foundation, and Bounty Squash Club in England will be unveiling their new open-air court to the public in Basingstoke, Hampshire, on World Squash Day.
The Maspeth Steel Court in Queen’s, New York, will also be playing host to a variety of visitors.
Unfortunately, plans for a special outdoor event at the four-court Squash Para Todos facility in El Salvador had to be cancelled after hurricane damage.
Coach Carlos Schonenberg, leader of Squash Para Todos, said: “Unfortunately central América got hit with a hurricane and big storms this past weekend.
“We have got some minor damage and we are working on getting back on our feet as fast as we can. I doubt we can get something going for World Squash Day but we are planning some cool upgrades coming soon.”
Speaking ahead of World Squash Day 2022, World Squash Federation CEO William Louis-Marie commented: “World Squash Day has been a well-established event that we look forward to every year. This is a day when our community comes together and shows its unwavering passion for our sport.
World Squash Day is an annual event designed to promote grassroots squash and is endorsed by the World Squash Federation and the PSA Foundation.
For further information please contact World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher.
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