The legacy of the Commonwealth Games will live on in Winchester with a new initiative to keep kids active.
Birmingham 2022 was a huge success for the nation and offered countless inspirational moments with a record number of medals.
England’s efforts have been particularly successful in squash. Gina Kennedy won the country’s first-ever gold medal in women’s squash singles.
Many other medals were won by the England squash team, including gold and silver in the men’s doubles in an epic all-English final.
The team also won silver in women’s doubles and bronze in women’s singles.
Since the end of the games, England Squash have worked hard to ensure they maintain this momentum and encourage young people across the country to try the sport through their program called Squash Stars.
The six-week programme, delivered by participating clubs and venues from September, will introduce children aged 5-11 to the game of squash.
A host of squash clubs across the country have signed up for the initiative and will hold sessions in Hampshire.
Among these is Winchester Sport & Leisure Park, which hosted the Queen’s Baton Relay in preparation for the games.
Other clubs include Fair Oak, Squash Club, The Avenue Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, Totton Squash Club, Petersfield Squash Club, Lee on the Solent Tennis, Squash & Fitness Club and Bounty Squash Club.
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Squash Stars will help children learn fundamental squash skills and develop hand-eye coordination, racquet work, movement and match play through fun games and drills led by specially trained facilitators.
England squash player Gina Kennedy, who won the 2022 women’s singles event at the Commonwealth Games, said: “Squash has had an incredible impact on my life and it’s so important that we give the same experience to youth.
“I really hope that these children aged 5-11 who participate in Squash Stars not only enjoy playing squash, but develop a passion for the sport in the process. The Commonwealth Games have been a great inspiration, and I hope Squash Stars can continue this legacy.
All squash stars will receive six group practice sessions and a free racket, ball, bag and goggles to help them get into the game.
Parents can now register their child for the program via squashstars.co.uk.