Newest Olympic sport striving to plug gap in Derbyshire as young people battle with activity levels

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The Olympic Games’ newest sport, squash, has committed to increasing activity levels among children and young people in Derbyshire.

Sport England’s latest Active Lives survey, released at the end of 2023, unveiled that less than half of children and young people in the UK are currently meeting the government guideline of sixty minutes of physical activity a day.

England Squash is continuing to introduce new ways for young people to increase their activity levels through its primary programme for participation amongst young people, Squash Stars, which provides children with the equipment and coaching required to get active and develop key skills.

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Squash Stars will offer children aged between five and nine the chance to experience the benefits of sport ahead of an Olympic summer. The sport of squash is in an exciting period, following the recent announcement that it will be in the Olympics from 2028 onwards.

Squash StarsSquash Stars
Squash Stars

This will be the fifth intake since the programme began in 2022. Squash Stars has provided thousands of young people across the country with the affordable and accessible means of physical activity.

Derby is hosting six Squash Stars sessions at the start of 2024, set to take place from February onwards at Ashbourne Squash Club and Glossop Leisure Centre.

Along with getting active, participants will learn the fundamental skills needed to play squash. Expert coaches will help them improve their hand-eye coordination and all-round physical literacy, as well as contributing to the development of important life skills like resilience and teamwork.

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The six-week local Squash Stars programme costs £42 – or just £7 for each session. And, mindful of the cost-of-living crisis and the financial pressure on parents, every child who signs up will also be given a free racket, Squash Stars t-shirt, ball, goggles and kit bag to keep.

Joanna Rowbottom, head of partnerships and communities England Squash, said: “With the ongoing battle to get young people active across the country, there is a huge responsibility for sports to act now and protect future generations. Sport has the power to drive commanding positive change across lives and communities which is why we, at England Squash, are so committed to giving young people the chance to try a new sport and give squash a go.

“We’re entering the most exciting era in the sport’s history, with squash confirmed as part of the Olympic programme for LA2028. During this excitement, it’s important to remember that this opportunity exists not only on the major stages of professional sport, but also translates into huge potential to increase participation in this brilliant sport. We hope that Squash Stars is the start of a very exciting squash journey for many.”

To book your child a place now, visit:

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