Scottish Women in Sport – H//T SQUASH

Case study

H//T SQUASH has been created as a result of the successful application Scottish Squash and Scottish Women in Sport submitted to the Women & Girls Fund, made available by the Scottish Government and sportscotland in early 2019.

The programme, set up in June 2019, aims to gradually engage inactive women and girls in the fitness, movements and skills required to play squash in a fun and social squash-based fitness programme.

H//T SQUASH is a development/continuation from G/RLS DO SQUASH (GDS). GDS is our club initiative, where we encourage clubs to hold an open day exclusively for women and girls of any age, background and/or ability. This gives a safe, fun and sociable environment for women and girls to try squash.

Reflecting on GDS’ success, we found only women who were already confident in their physical fitness and/or skill level were coming along and trying squash on these days. We required something new to encourage inactive women and girls to squash.

We keep marketing squash as the ‘healthiest sport in the world’, which it is, as voted for by Forbes, and in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. However, we need to be careful as this can put off women and girls who are not confident in their physical fitness, or skill level. The whole sport can seem daunting and aggressive.

H//T SQUASH will combat this by gradually introducing the fitness and skills required to play the sport and allow someone who is inactive to go on a journey that will ultimately allow them to reap all the social, health, fitness and mental wellbeing benefits the “healthiest sport in the world” can bring them.

We aim to create a sustainable, proven programme that will continue to give squash clubs the tools, knowledge and resource required to attract inactive women and girls to the sport of squash.

This will ultimately diversify the sport of squash, bringing our membership, and national participation in line with national gender statistics.

The women and girls who are involved in H//T SQUASH will also make new friends, become fitter and most importantly, have fun with a sport that they can engage in for life.

Add all this up, and we are doing our part to keep Scotland physically active and increasing mental wellbeing through sport and fitness.

During this investment period, we will pilot H//T SQUASH in 11 Scottish Squash clubs, delivering to 765 women and girls, aiming to retain a minimum of 77 of these women and girls are members of Scottish Squash clubs.

We have just finished our development and consultation period and are primed for launch on Wednesday 4th September 2019.

We initially wrote this application around using “squashercise”, an older fitness/squash programme, however, we couldn’t find a copy of the material, sign-up for any delivery education, or even find who owned the rights to the programme. In order to keep ourselves from a copyright/financial penalty, we decided to create and brand our very own programme.

Whilst this has set us back in terms of timescale, we feel this is the best thing for the programme. It turns out “squashercise” didn’t have a good reputation, and we would have opened ourselves up to criticism and lack of interest.

We have done H//T Squash right! We have consulted with our fantastic partner Scottish Women and Sport, and ELREC (Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council) to ensure we are building equality and inclusivity into the very fabric and foundations of our programme. We want to make sure H//T SQUASH attracts and excites inactive women and girls from any and every background or protected characteristic.

We have also worked with Brand Oath to ensure the programme has the right look and feel. This has been incredible for us. The visuals, posters, ACT/VATOR kit, all look incredible. As because it has the look, its already creating such a buzz around Scotland and the world!

We were fortunate enough to be featured on Reporting Scotland in June 2019 and on national news and this resulted in us coming into the office the next morning to 88 emails from women and girls itching to come and try our new programme, as well as Australian, New Zealand and South African squash clubs offering to buy the programme from us!

Whilst the delay hasn’t been ideal, and we feel behind in terms of delivery, it has allowed us to spend much needed time ensuring quality, impact and excitement as key factors in the very make-up of H//T SQUASH.

Stay tuned to our social media channels to watch us knock this project out the park between September 2019 & March 2020.

We hope to see some of you there!

Come and try it for yourself!

Meet the people behind this great project, see the welcoming club environments, be inspired!

Afterwards, help in any way you can; share our stories, our adverts, our posters and fliers.

If you’re really motivated by the above then please chat with us about how you can donate or support us to continue to develop initiatives and programmes like this for us to make a real positive change to Scotland, particularly engaging women and girls in sport and physical activity.

Original G/RLS DO SQUASH video

H//T Squash on Reporting Scotland – June 2019