‘Intriguing’ squash court could
inspire a new generation of players
Birmingham 2022 medal contender Sarah-Jane Perry believes that the new
temporary glass squash court installed at Birmingham New Street station
this week can inspire a new generation of squash players to watch the
sport and even give it a try themselves.
“The glass court at New Street is colourful, it’s vibrant but it looks
sharp as well,” said Perry, who is from Kenilworth and will be competing
at her home Games this July.
“It looks intriguing and people are going to be drawn into what’s going
on. The modern day glass courts we have in squash nowadays look really
slick and they really pop and this one looks fantastic in the middle of
this really modern station. It’s going to surprise some people who maybe
knew squash in the old days, before the modernisation of the courts. I
also think it’s going to appeal to a new, younger generation who haven’t
necessarily seen squash before.”
The court will be in place between 4th - 11th April and will host
activities with a goal of spreading the word about squash and whetting
the appetite for this summer’s Commonwealth Games, which the city is
hosting. It is part of a wide range of initiatives and activities to
create a Games legacy which organisers hope will see people across the
Midlands reaching for their rackets.
“This is a real opportunity to relight the fire for people who stopped
playing squash for whatever reason but might get back into it, and to
introduce it to as many young people as we can and get as many of them
on the squash train,” said Perry. “That would be the best legacy for
Perry was a silver medallist in singles in 2018 at the last Commonwealth
Games and will be among a strong group of squash medal contenders from
the home nations.
“Because squash isn’t in the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games really is
the pinnacle for any English squash player but to have it in the city
where I live, down the road, is incredible,” said Perry. “I was born in
the city, I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve got loads of friends
and family who have got tickets to come and watch. I’m absolutely
determined to just go out there and enjoy every moment of that. My
sights will be set on a gold medal but there are plenty of good players.
Having a home Games is so lucky anyway but then to have it in your
hometown - you can’t comprehend how perfect that is. I’m really, really
looking forward to it.”
The squash programme at the Birmimgham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be
held between July 29 – August 8 at the University of Birmingham Sport,
with medals on offer in singles and doubles for men and women as well as
for mixed doubles. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will also be
broadcast live on BBC TV and radio.
The New Street court is the latest in a series of initiatives by Squash
United, the collaborative group leading the squash legacy programme
which is an official project of United by Birmingham 2022, the community
programme for the Commonwealth Games. Spearheaded by England Squash, the
Professional Squash Association (PSA) Foundation, Rackets Cubed and the
World Squash Federation. Squash United’s aim is to take squash to new
audiences and make the sport more accessible than ever. The project is
supported by commercial partners Aston & Fincher and Gowling WLG as well
as Office Principles.