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World Squash President Wooldridge applauds Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games Legacy ahead of Sport Accord appearance

World Squash Federation President Zena Wooldridge OBE has praised the legacy programmes from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on the local area following news that five new outdoor squash courts are to be built around Birmingham thanks to a Sport England funding boost for England Squash.

Wooldridge, a life-long member of her local squash club in nearby Stourbridge was previously the Director of Sport at the University of Birmingham and a member of Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games Bid Committee.

She said: “It’s fantastic to see the impact the Commonwealth Games continues to have on Birmingham and the West Midlands.

“This Sport England funding for the innovative outdoor courts builds on the success of England Squash’s earlier legacy project to engage diverse communities by taking the courts into the heart of communities who previously didn’t appreciate what squash was. Once they experience it, they love it, with over 300 new regular players to date through this project.

“These are tangible and sustainable outcomes for squash in Birmingham.

“The groundswell of interest in the sport since the Commonwealth Games has been fuelled by the establishment of the historic British Junior Open Squash Championships in Birmingham since 2018, with players from over 50 nations, and the return to Birmingham of the flagship British Open Championship, magnificently showcased at the Birmingham Rep Theatre.

“Last October’s news of squash’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games has accelerated the impetus behind the sport, the events and the legacy projects.”

Wooldridge, who led the World Squash Federation’s successful campaign for inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games – where the sport will make its Olympic debut – will appear as a guest speaker at the SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2024, which will be hosted by The International Convention Centre in Birmingham from 7 to 11 April 2024.

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