Squash Girls Can resources and downloads
Read tips and guidance on hosting a female-only session and download videos, social media graphics and more to promote them.
What does a Squash Girls Can session look like?
It's important to ensure that when new participants come along to your session it matches their expectations. Squash Girls Can sessions are suitable for newer players and are fun, friendly squash or Squash 57 sessions.
All squash Girls Can sessions should:
- have minimal levels of commitment, women can drop in and out of sessions when they want, missing a week or two isn't an issue. This can help with longer term retention.
- have flexible payment options such as a pay as you go option or offers to buy in bulk e.g. 10 sessions for the price of 8. This allows women and girls to be flexible with their attendance.
- be relaxed, but organised. Although women don't always want to be coached, having a leader or coach there to organise the session is important.
- be regular so that participants can form a habit and plan the session around their busy lives.
The participants journey
Arriving at the session
Joining a new session at a venue you haven't been to before can be a daunting prospect.
Make a new participant's visit to your session friendly and welcoming from the moment they arrive.
- A warm welcome is important. Ensure reception staff know about the session and offer a warm welcome so new participants feel relaxed immediately.
- Have someone at reception to meet new participants, whether that's the coach, another volunteer, a staff member, or ask a regular attendee to meet people at reception.
- Don't assume people have been to the venue before, show them to the changing rooms and to the squash courts. Don't just leave people to find their own way around.
During the session
The vast majority of women want to join sessions for fun and fitness.
- Deliver fun sessions, don't just focus on skill development.
- Be friendly, and ensure participants know it's not about being perfect all the time.
- Ensure participants are getting a good workout from the session.
- Add lots of variety to your sessions to keep them coming back for more.
A large proportion of women are also motivated by improvement – setting and achieving their own personal goals.
- Remember goals will vary, some may want to improve fitness, others to do something for themselves, and some will want to improve their squash skills.
- Encourage and support your participants to achieve goals. By getting to know your participants you'll be able to get an idea of their goals.
- Celebrate successes of all sizes.
People make a big difference to a person's experience at a session. Meeting new people, and building new social connections is important.
- Encourage conversations, making people feel they are part of something and they belong.
- Include a social element to the session, stay for a coffee after the session. It can help keep people coming back to your session.
- Organise a social get together every so often.
- Women and girls are more motivated by people close to them than high level role models. The coach, other participants and family and friends all play a big role in motivating women and girls to take part.
After the session
- Be clear about when the next session is, let people know you've enjoyed seeing them and you look forward to seeing them at the next session.
- Follow up after a participant's first session at the end of the session, or by text or email to see how they enjoyed the session. Ask if they'll be coming again.
- Keep an eye out for people who have dropped off from sessions. Get in touch to see if they are OK and let them know you look forward to seeing them at a session again soon. Avoid pestering though and remember that people have busy lives which might prevent them from coming every week.
- Perhaps set up a WhatsApp group, or social media group to enable everyone to keep in contact. This can help to motivate people to keep coming to the sessions. You'll need to ask their permission though before you share anyone's contact details.
- Ask for feedback regularly, see if there's anything people aren't enjoying, or anything people would like to start doing. People's goals may change and responding to feedback where possible can help keep them involved.
UK Coaching have produced a three-part series of guides in association with Women in Sport aimed at providing insight into the informal female participant.
How to promote your sessions
Our message is if you’re getting on court, or curious about giving it a go, then Squash Girl Can will be with you every step of the way.
Celebration and motivation are the two driving forces behind Squash Girls Can. By sharing inspirational stories from a wide range of players, engaging social content and nationwide participation projects we will help beginners get started, and keep those already playing motivated.
It's for everyone
We want to show that squash is for everyone. Our campaign is inclusive, speaking to a broad and diverse range of women with various degrees of exposure to, and interest in squash and Squash 57. This campaign is particularly targeted at women who so far have had no, or very little, connection with the wider squash and Squash 57 community.
We will align the campaign to women’s core values and highlight how squash matches them – looking good, feeling good, developing skills, achieving goals, having fun and nurturing friends and family.
How to promote sessions
- Use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc, if you don’t already have accounts for the venue, set one up!
- Update your social media regularly to keep people engaged.
- Use the campaign hashtag to get your sessions noticed: #SquashGirlsCan
- We have created a tweet sheet of example tweets to help you promote your sessions.
- Have a dedicated page on your own website for the event, and direct people to this from social media.
- Advertise in your club newsletter, try and get club members to tell their non-squash friends about what you’re doing – try and get them involved.
- Tell us about your sessions using our form and we will add them to the Squash Girls Can map on the website.
- Think about what types of advertising are most likely to reach your target audience. Don’t only put the poster in the clubhouse, how will you attract new participants if only your club members see it? Instead advertise in places where women go; supermarkets, schools, bus stops etc.
- Word of mouth marketing is the most effective; tell people! Invite people along, a personal invite is far more likely to get someone to attend than a generic poster (but still do those!).
- Utilise local media to advertise your event; invite them along to your festival!
- Offer free taster sessions of current and new activities; ‘try before you buy’.
- Loyalty cards that offer a benefit for people who attend multiple sessions.
- A ‘bring a friend’ offer where both people benefit.
- The benefit doesn’t have to be sport related, something as simple as a coffee voucher. In doing this you can partner with a local business; you get the rewards and they get free publicity and new people using their business!
- Check out www.sportengland.org/womenandgirls for more information
- Women in Sport Webinar: How to market to women and girls (affiliated clubs and coaches)
- Social media ideas (PDF)
Social media posts - templates
To help you spread the word on social media, check out suggested posts:Download social media ideas (PDF).
Know your target audience
The key to successful events and engaging female players is to understand what they are looking for and offer the right type of activity for them. Find out about women and girls' attitudes to exercise during various life stages:
Midlife and menopause
A Women In Sport report shows that women overwhelmingly want to be more active during this life stage, but often face barrier in doing so.
Follow their five principles to inspire women to be active in midlife:
- Endless Possibilities – Expand perceptions and opportunities for being active.
- Judgement-Free Zone – Welcoming and supportive environment.
- Support Network – Offer built-in social support.
- Expand the Image of What Sporty Means – Inspiring, relatable role models.
- Make It Relevant – Reference specific, relevant benefits.
There's a drop of activity levels as girls reach teenage years and a change in their attitudes towards sport and physical activity. Only 10% of girls (age 13 – 16) meet the recommended 60 mins of activity a day. Women In Sport have a range of resources to support you to engage teenage girls in sport and physical activity.
Following the '8 principles for successes' from Women in Sport can help you plan your activities.1
- No judgement
- Invoke excitement
- Clear emotional reward
- Open eyes to what's there
- Build into existing habits
- Give girls a voice & choice
- Champion what's in it for them
- Expand image if what 'sporty' looks like
Download copyright-free high res images to promote your sessions - click on the thumbnails below to download:
Here you'll find a series of videos that you can download to use on your website, social media or on TV screens at your club or venue.
You can download videos featuring women and girls telling their squash stories to use on your website, social media or on TV screens at your club or venue.
Squash Girls Can video promo
Help to promote your Squash Girls Can activities with this video promo featuring real women and girls who play squash and Squash 57 regardless of age, ability, fitness level or experience.
Squash Girls Can is...
A short video of what Squash Girls Can means to female players of all ages, abilities and experiences.