Forres Squash Club will be participating in a nationwide programme to get more young people into the sport.
Thanks to support from housebuilder Springfield Properties, the club has joined the Going for Gold initiative recently launched by Scottish Squash to provide a sustainable introductory junior development programme through free squash coaching.
The new investment is designed to help ambitious clubs make a step-change in how they deliver junior programmes by professionalising their coaching infrastructure over a two-year period.
Hundreds of hours of coaching
During this period, 800 hours of free junior coaching development will be available to kids in Forres and surrounding areas.
Coaching sessions will take place at Forres Squash Club and in schools across the region thanks to Scottish Squash’s partnership with Moray’s Active School’s team.
The Active Schools Network means Going for Gold has the ability to reach primary schools and high schools across the region.
David Taylor will be the Going for Gold coach based at Forres Squash Club.
He said: “We are one of the first clubs to participate in the Going for Gold programme and I must thank Springfield Properties who have made this opportunity possible.
“We have been very keen to get a Junior programme up and running at the club.
“I am really excited about it and hopefully there will be a big pick up of school pupils taking up the sport.
“If we can develop more junior players locally it will be of great benefit to the north-east of Scotland and the whole Highlands and Islands region.”
Quality of opportunity
The Active Schools Network provides more and higher quality opportunities for pupils to take part in sport and physical activity and to develop effective pathways between schools and sports clubs in the local community.
Rosalyn Carruthers, Active Schools Coordinator, Forres Associated School Groups, said: “We have done some work with David before but Going for Gold is a really exciting project because the scope is so much greater in terms of what we can achieve.
“The fact we can do some work within schools and feed into extracurricular activities is great.
“Hopefully we’ll encourage children that maybe haven’t thought of squash as a sport for them before to now take up the game.”
She added: “From an Active Schools point of view, we work really closely with the schools within our ASG (associated school groups).
“We have good relationships with these schools and they come to us to look for opportunities and see if there’s any new sports or programmes on offer.
“We can assist schools with the organisational side of things and help the programme run smoothly which then maximises David’s time on court.
“Hopefully through this exciting partnership, we can boost junior membership and squash participation in Moray and find a future Scotland internationalist.”
Springfield Properties Marketing Assistant, Megan Scotland, added: “Going for Gold is a great initiative that will encourage youngsters to get into squash and offer them professional coaching to improve their skill.
“Springfield is excited to be included and support this scheme as it develops across Scotland. No doubt we’ll be training potential future winners of the Springfield Scottish Squash Open in years to come.”