Jack Brodie (Club Development manager, Scottish Squash) shares the priorities of Scottish Squash and how Sports Councils/ClubSport networks can engage with them nationally and locally. Download the video here.
How is your organisation supporting local clubs in their recovery from the pandemic?
Clubs and facilities across Scotland have experienced varying levels of change in their membership since returning from the pandemic. To support the recovery of squash, we’re working to help attract new members to the sport through key programmes such as schoolsquash and H//T squash which introduce players to the sport in a more accessible setting or format with the goal of then signposting players to their local club and support them to develop further through local pathways, in turn helping to boost local club membership.
We continue to focus on supporting the growth and development of a diverse workforce across Scotland to ensure clubs have capacity to retain new members through player centred programmes. Working with partners we’re aiming to develop and deliver Squash Leaders and H//T Squash Activator Awards with the hope of developing new coaches/activators who can deliver grassroots sessions in the local community but also connect with their local club and support programme delivery.
More generally, we’ve put in place mechanisms for clubs to share best practice, ideas or issues and seek advice from clubs with similar experiences. This has been a really positive development that may not have taken place without the pandemic and the introduction of online meetings etc.
Aside from our programmes and initiatives we continue to engage with clubs across Scotland and support in other means necessary to ensure squash across Scotland can continue to recover from the pandemic.
What challenges have you faced in recruiting and engaging volunteers throughout the last couple of years?
We are aware that squash requires to adapt to become more accessible for those out with the existing squash community, so attracting new volunteers is important. We are continuing to work to raise the profile and awareness of squash and in turn local clubs where volunteers are absolutely vital.
Locally, we have been fortunate that that many key volunteers have remained in their roles during this period, despite the obvious challenges faced. We found that new volunteers stepped forward to support the WSF World Doubles Championships hosted in Glasgow earlier this year which was extremely encouraging and we need to ensure all the partners continue to work together to further embed these volunteers into other opportunities within squash in Scotland.
What new opportunities have you identified for moving forward as a sport?
We recognise the need for squash in Scotland to be more diverse, so we ensure that our work is underpinned by a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. As a result of this, we are about to launch our first Young Ambassadors Programme with the aim of giving young people a voice within squash and helping them to influence the game at both national and local levels.
Similarly, we are looking to establish an Equality Advisory Group to help us achieve our outcomes in the E, D & I space, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that squash in Scotland is welcoming and inclusive, with a diverse membership across players, coaches and volunteers.
If someone wants to take part in your sport or would like to become a volunteer or coach, how can they get involved?
We have 85 affiliated clubs across Scotland who would welcome you with open arms. You can find your local club on our ‘Where to Play’ map on the Scottish Squash website or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can point you in the right direction and support you to make connections within the club.
If we can share your (or a colleagues) contact details with our members, please share the name and preferred email address with us.
Jack Brodie – email@example.com
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