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Two female players playing competitive squash

Aspire programme

The Aspire programme is focused on enhancing players with potential above county level to create a sustainable succession of players into the England Development Programme (EDP) and offer a quality environment where the best players in a region can come together to train.

Aspire players will be in contention, alongside the EDP players to represent England junior squads at European and World events.

What does the programme consist of?

  • Ten training days (plus two Aspire Team Championships training days)
  • Regional Closed (TBC)
  • Aspire Team Championships (July)

Selection criteria

Developed by the National Coaching Team, here is the selection criteria for Aspire:

  • Has realistic potential to progress into EDP Potential with aspirations to play for England.
  • Has displayed a commitment to competing in the England junior tournament circuit.
  • Has displayed a commitment to attending the Regional, and County Closed events.
  • Displays positive movement patterns to and from a range of positions.
  • Is capable of completing a variety of shots, through achieving a solid body position.
  • Is able to adapt swing size, racket face and follow through to alter the trajectory of the ball in a number of shots.
  • Demonstrates at times the on-court squash pillars in practice and competition.
  • Is learning the importance of physical, mental and lifestyle components on their performance.
  • Is starting to appreciate the benefit that personal goals and feedback can have on their performance

Selection dates

The Aspire Programme Head Coaches will be making their first selections for the Aspire Programme after the British Junior Nationals (27th-29th October 2017). This gives the Aspire Programme Head Coaches the opportunity to see as many players as possible in a national level competition. Players who are being selected will be notified well in advance of the first scheduled Aspire squad on December 2 nd & 3rd 2017. Post this further opportunities for selection will be at the Regional Closed Events more locally.

Squad numbers

Squad numbers are dependent on the number of players that meet the selection criteria. It’s important that the quality of the programme is maintained and, as a consequence, there isn’t an expectation that each region has a set number of players.

The Aspire Programme Head Coaches will be responsible for ensuring that there is a balance between quality and a critical mass of players to enable there to be an impactful and manageable programme.

Please Note: It is an expectation that any player who attends the highest level of the EDP National programme will not be invited to attend the Aspire programme. However, players who are invited to the EDP Potential programme are eligible for Aspire, although it will not be mandatory to attend.

Changes to the Aspire Programme (Summer 2017)

England Squash in partnership with the Regional Forums will continue to roll out eight Aspire Programmes across the country this season. The ambition remains that the Aspire programme connects the player pathway, bridging the gap between county programmes and the EDP.

The Aspire programme will be standardised across the country in its delivery, so there are set dates, a consistency of philosophy and approach, a clear identity and players are able to easily identify and recognise where they are within the pathway. In addition, the coordination of the programme will be managed locally through the Aspire Head Coaches and / or Regional Forums.

Those players who are currently within the existing Aspire programme will be positioned within one of the following eight Aspire Programmes as follows

  • Aspire – South West
  • Aspire – South
  • Aspire – East
  • Aspire – East Midlands
  • Aspire – West Midlands
  • Aspire – North West
  • Aspire – North East
  • Aspire – London and South East

There will be some flexibility in how certain other elements of the programme are delivered to reflect local issues and priorities.