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Squash 101 makes a racket at Derby University

Discover how Derby University has boosted squash participation significantly with Squash 101.

The challenge

Derby University’s new multi-million pound sports centre opened in September 2015 equipped with two brand new squash courts. With low squash participation and no programmes in place, the university needed an effective way to attract new players, engage existing ones and increase membership.

The solution

University staff approached England Squash for guidance who suggested their new fun and social participation programme, Squash 101, as an ideal driver in increasing participation.

Staff subsequently approached four students who jumped at the chance for free leader training from England Squash’s experienced coaching team and the opportunity to gain some invaluable skills. Students were quickly trained up as Squash 101 leaders and given all the advice and training resources to deliver weekly sessions and market them effectively.

Head of Coach Development, Paul Carter training four Derby University students

The outcome

Following the leader training, the university runs weekly Squash 101 sessions for beginners, which has attracted more than 20 new regular players. In addition:

  • Box leagues have been set up plus a new squash programme for varying abilities has been introduced.
  • The university now hosts a Level 1 coaching course, giving students the opportunity to become qualified coaches and run sessions.
  • The university now enters additional teams into BUCS competitions in 2016-17

Don't just take our word for it! Hear what Alex from the university thinks...

Alex from Derby University

"The training was brilliant and accommodated everyone's skills, needs and personal goals. Each session focused on something new and allowed participants to improve their game. Beginners were able to learn the basics whilst advanced players were able to practice their skills and a variety of different game changing shots.

"This has increased participation across the university, attracting players from varying courses and years. Squash 101 has removed the scary look of the game where people worry it's too fast-paced and dangerous, and shown them that it is fun, enjoyable and a good work out."


Sign up to our free Squash 101 Leaders training for university students and staff and discover how your university could benefit.