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arrow pointing leftBack 16 April 19 - by England Squash

Shropshire Squash Club named April's Club of the Month

Shropshire Squash Club has been named England Squash’s Club of the Month in April following their efforts to reposition the club and increase membership by 27% in just two years.

Back in 2017, Shropshire Squash Club were becoming increasingly aware of their ageing and steadily diminishing membership.

“The club recognised that a major shift was urgently needed to change the otherwise inevitable fate of the club,” explains Ben Schur, Junior Development Coach at the club.

The committee, which is largely made up of volunteers soon tasked itself with raising the profile of the club and the sport to a wider and more youthful market across the region.

“The first step was to rebrand the club from Kingsland Squash and Racketball Club to the more marketable Shropshire Squash Club and develop a fun, fresh, modern website.

“We raised our ambitious plans to grow membership with Shrewsbury School with whom we share our four-court facility.

“We quickly gained approval to replace court lighting, flooring and to invest in widespread redecoration of the building while replacing tired-out furniture and fittings. Club reserves were quickly depleted but the financial forecasts would work if we delivered.”

Following a club refresh, a rebrand, a new vibrant website and a high-profile relaunch event featuring three-time world champion Nick Matthew which was heavily publicised locally, the club had the confidence to engage their target audiences.

One of the key ambitions for the club was to increase the number of female participants. Club and committee member, Tracy, who has spearheaded the club’s new monthly Ladies Pizza and Prosecco evenings to engage females says: “With the help of female coaches around the county, we have hosted our fourth Ladies Pizza and Prosecco event which sees 25 females in attendance per session on average and results in two new members signing up each time.

“The theme is just a relaxed introduction to the sport, whether they’ve limited experience or never stepped foot on a court before.

“We start at 7pm with a fun-run warm up followed by 40 minutes of coaching then onto team games ensuring everyone gets the opportunity to play two matches against someone of a similar ability. We wrap up by 9pm and head to the bar regaling tales while relaxing over pizza and a cool glass or two of fizz.

“What really stands out for me is the absolute buzz these evenings generate! There’s so much chatter and laughter and the whole of our upstairs bar area and courts are full of ladies playing squash and having fun.

“What we’ve learned from these experiences is that women often need the dedicated space to try squash. They’ll bring friends, daughters, mums and sisters along too. The pizza and prosecco is a winning combination too!”

With funding assistance from Squash Girls Can, the club is looking to attract new players, host weekly sessions and introduce a ladies’ league.

The club has also worked tirelessly to provide sessions to accommodate casual players by introducing Squash 101 group sessions to juniors and seniors.

“We started offering Squash 101 sessions to non-members and it soon became apparent that we needed to offer something for those people who just want to play casually,” explains Ben Schur.

“We started with just four players at our first 101 session and are now regularly seeing 30 plus taking part as word continues to spread.

“Participating parents are also encouraging their kids to get involved to such an extent that junior events are now attracting numbers of 50 upwards. It has been massively beneficial to have six of our internal coaches trained up as 101 leaders.

“It certainly proves that our sport will likely remain undiscovered and often misunderstood until it is offered in such a way that it is easily accessible, fun and provides basic structured coaching to get started.”

Following the introduction of these new programmes, the future of the club has taken a significant and dramatic u-turn.

“From where our journey began, we’re now a fantastic 27% up on total membership numbers and have an immensely satisfying 62% increase within our key 20-39 age group.

“With the introduction of female-focussed events, we’ve already doubled our female participation within the club and see this number rising further.

“The sport is evolving and younger players, when introduced to it and encouraged to try it, are clearly getting hooked like the rest of us.”

Moving forward, the club is keen to make the bar and social area a more relaxed environment and encourage greater use later into the evenings.

“New screens, décor enhancements and a new bar are all firmly set in our sights for the near future.

“We’re thrilled to have been named England Squash Club of the Month for April! It’s great recognition for all of the individual voluntary work undertaken within Shropshire Squash Club to achieve so much in such a relatively short period of time."

To find out more about Shropshire Squash Club visit