England has the highest number of squash players in the world, but with Sport England’s recent survey indicating participation has been on a steady decline for the last 5 years we are calling on everyone to pick up their racquet and get back out on court!
What’s Going Wrong with Squash?
Sport England’s survey found that the number of people playing squash each week has dropped from around 290,000 per week in 2010 to around 196,000 per week in 2015. This sharp decline means people are quite quickly leaving the courts and spending their time on other things.
This decline is all despite Forbes announcing squash as the World’s Healthiest Sport to take part in just a couple of years ago.
This could be due to rise in other sport and exercise activities, with much larger participation levels in gym classes (e.g. Zumba, Spin and Yoga) meaning people’s focus has been swayed in recent times.
The Plus Side to Squash in England?
On a more positive note, England does still hold the highest number of squash courts for any single country across the world, with players having access to over 8,500 courts across the land.
England also has some of the worlds finest squash talent, with Nick Matthews and Laura Massaro excelling in their respective individual rankings.
Sport England has also recently committed £13.5 million towards growing the sport of squash at grassroots level, looking to increase youth coaching and get the participation numbers up with players of a young age.
Mark Williams, the Director of Participation at England Squash said that “in 2016 England Squash will launch a number of innovative programmes and campaigns to encourage more people to play at all levels and from all backgrounds.”
So maybe these are actually exciting times for the sport of Squash in England, and indeed across the World, as investment continues to come in and hopefully a whole new wave of players start to get involved in the sport and change the way it is played.
What we do know, is that if you haven’t played for a while we need you to go pick up your racquet, get back out on court and have yourself a game of squash!!