Speed thrills in World Squash Day success!

22 October 2014

World Squash Day 2014 was a resounding success, with thousands of players taking part in some challenging and creative events all over the planet.

CamSlamIn a trans-Atlantic speed challenge, Australia’s world No.22 Cameron Pilley attempted to improve on his world record of 176mph during a competition at the US Open in Philadelphia.

This time his feared forehand was slightly off his best as he registered 163mph in a head-to-head with former world record holder John White, head coach at Drexel University, which hosted the US Open Championships.

England’s world No.14 Sarah-Jane Perry recorded 144mph, which sets a benchmark for future women’s challenges.

jamesmarkIn England, Team Winchester squad member Steve Wykes outgunned the top pros by recording an impressive 168mph during a World Squash Day doubles tournament at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, Kent.

Two English squash enthusiasts, James Roberts and Mark Davey, completed a magnificent marathon by playing seven matches at seven local clubs in the space of seven hours, finishing up at their home club of Lichfield in Staffordshire.

WSDcanberraIn Australia, squash players gathered for a rally outside Parliament House in Canberra before dispersing to open-day events at clubs across the city.

aaronfAustralia also boasted possibly the most successful open day, thanks to former professional Aaron Willoughby and his East Coast Squash Academy.

Their activities at the Willoughby Squash Club in Sydney resulted in 60 new players joining the club.

In Poland and India, new media was embraced as players were encouraged to upload “squash selfies” and Tweet the reasons why they loved squash so much.

The biggest social enterprise took place in New Delhi, India, where a group of volunteers staged an open day for orphans and homeless children to enjoy a day of squash.

A spokesperson said: “These children train for free at the Academy run by Dr. Bharatinder Singh and we are happy to let these fellow citizens be the poster boys and a girl (I hope you can spot Tamanna on the left in the picture).

WSDIndia“They were invited to participate in the popular annual handicap tournament for the Merchants Cup. Each of them showed immense character to step on to the court and play, and also won some points against more experienced opponents.

“We must congratulate their coaches for instilling in them “The Zid” – a new word doing the rounds among our members in The Great Indian Squash League.

Zid means “Insistence” something that helps us all fight with situations in all walks of life. It translates as the ability to be at terms with the self and to go out and take on challenges without the fear of its outcome. Isn’t that why we play sports?

“Well, look into their eyes and try to read their dreams. These children have loads to prove to themselves and to the rest of us.

“The events of World Squash Day would have been celebrated at more glamorous venues, and in the presence of great stars, but, thankfully for us, these 16 Children (13 in the picture) who played on four teams were quite frankly the stars of World Squash Day in New Delhi.”

Across the globe, reports emerged of some fun events to promote the game, including fancy dress doubles, thousands of free lessons for juniors, and coaches cycling from club to club to offer free classes.

Numerous clubs simply opened their doors to hold open days to show that squash is one of the best sports for all-round fitness, with an hour of activity on the court burning around 900 calories.

World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher was delighted with the response.

He said: “I have been inundated with reports of clubs and federations staging some amazing events to promote the sport.

“Squash is on a real high at the moment, with some fantastic presentation of the sport in the Commonwealth Games, Pan-American Games and the Asian Games.

“It was wonderful for World Squash Day to be featured so prominently during one of the world’s leading tournaments, the US Open, and we are already looking at some novel ideas for next year.”

Stars Take Speed Test To Highlight World Squash Day 2014

16 October 2014

Some amazing events are taking place all over the planet on World Squash Day – the theme of which is Go For It! – this Saturday (October 18th).

Key events being staged provide a link between showcasing the world’s leading players and club-level activities supporting the grass-roots of the game.

Saturday is also finals day of the Delaware Investments US Open in Philadelphia, where leading professionals will take part in a World Squash Day Radar Gun Challenge.

cameron pilley speed testCameron Pilley, the world number 22 from Australia, holds the world record with a ball speed of 176 miles per hour.

A simultaneous radar gun challenge will also be taking place in England during the WSD Doubles competition at The Mote Squash Club in Kent.

One of the competitors, English player Robert Downer, holds a personal best speed of 171 miles per hour.

The event is being staged by WSD Founder Alan Thatcher to jointly promote doubles play and eye safety in squash.

Among the highlights of other events taking place, squash enthusiasts in Canberra will congregate at Australia’s Parliament House for a rally before dispersing to squash clubs all over the city to hold open days designed to attract new people to the sport.

In Poland, squash players are invited to upload “selfies” of themselves playing in World Squash Day events to win prizes.

WSDJamesMarkThe most daunting challenge faces two squash enthusiasts in Lichfield, England. Lichfield club chairman James Roberts and his team-mate Mark Davey will be attempting to play seven matches at seven clubs in seven hours.

They were inspired by a global challenge undertaken last year by former world champion Peter Nicol and his friend and business partner Tim Garner, who played seven matches on seven continents in seven days to support the sport’s Olympic bid.

Busy Brits tackle seven-club challenge on World Squash Day

Monday October 6th, 2014

One of the most innovative and demanding events being held on World Squash Day is being undertaken by two English players who will be attempting to complete a formidable challenge at seven clubs in their local region.

WSDJamesMarkJames Roberts and Mark Davey, from Lichfield Squash Club in Staffordshire, are planning to play seven matches at seven clubs in seven hours.

They were inspired by last year’s global challenge completed by former world champion Peter Nicol and Tim Garner, who played seven matches in seven continents in seven days to support squash’s Olympic Bid.

James, who is chairman of Lichfield Squash Club, said: “That was a phenomenal achievement by Peter and Tim and it inspired Mark and I to plan a more local version.

“While we won’t be flying across any time zones, the logistics are fairly challenging. While Peter and Tim played one match a day, we are tackling seven matches in seven hours, so we will need to make sure we look after ourselves on the day.

“I am sure we will have quite a thirst after it’s finished.”

The two players will be aiming to raise money for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association charity as well as raising the profile of their sport. They will be playing matches at Burton Manor, Wolverhampton Tennis and Squash Club, the Bert Williams Leisure Centre (named after a Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeping legend), Four Oaks Squash Club, Oak Park Leisure Centre and Burntwood Leisure Centre before finishing the challenge at their home club in Lichfield. All the clubs field teams in the Central Midlands League.

Mark added: “Squash is a great sport and we are glad to be part of a special day when the game is celebrated all over the world. It gives us the opportunity to demonstrate what a wonderful sport we have and, at the same time, we aim to raise money for a great cause, supporting the lives of people suffering from a debilitating heart condition.”

James added: “At each club we will play a best of three games match, using point-a-rally (PAR) scoring to 11 points per game. We will certainly have to move quickly if we re to fit in all those games, but we promise not to break any speed limits between venues!”

The intrepid squash players have set up a special page for supporters to make donations at: https://www.justgiving.com/7ClubsChallenge/

For full details, please log on here: http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/u=556d7e50036169698585b61ff&id=d52edc0a76

World Squash Day : GO FOR IT!

Wednesday August 20th, 2014

Squash clubs all over the world will be celebrating World Squash Day on Saturday October 18th, 2014 with a stimulating and varied programme of events.

World Squash Day is sanctioned and supported by the World Squash Federation, and gives clubs and federations the opportunity to promote the sport and add to the growing army of players in around 185 nations worldwide.

World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher said: “We aim to build on the incredible success of the recent Commonwealth Games in Scotland. Squash succeeded on so many levels, firstly with the outstanding quality of the play producing dramatic entertainment and outstanding TV coverage.

WSDcasinoheights“Secondly, the squash events attracted thousands of spectators every day, and thirdly, a large proportion of those were newcomers to the sport who were absolutely entranced by their first taste of the sport.

“We know that many of these spectators quickly found a local club and began taking lessons. That, in a nutshell, is what we aim to achieve on World Squash Day.

“Squash is a game for life, beginning with adventurous schools programmes attracting youngsters to the sport and culminating in a steadily-expanding tournament schedule for Masters players.

WORLD SQUASH DAY LOGO FOR WEB“Squash players carry on playing through all the age groups, often up to 80-plus, and are still enjoying the friendship, fitness and fun that go hand in hand with competition.

“On the fitness front, you will burn more than 900 calories an hour playing squash, making it one of the best sports for all-round health and well-being.”

WSF President N Ramachandran said: “I heartily endorse Alan’s comments about the success of the Commonwealth Games and the way that squash can be a life-enhancing sport.”

He added: “Squash is a universal game for life. Every nation enjoys different cultures and lifestyles, but squash has the ability to fit in with them all.

“We are seeing significant growth in many parts of the world, which is reflected in a growing tournament calendar taking events to major cities in every continent.

“As demonstrated in the Commonwealth Games, and will be shown in the forthcoming Asian Games and in other regional competitions such as the World Games, Pan-American Games and other championships, our leading athletes are wonderful role models for a growing population of squash players across the globe.”