Squash the competition

Birmingham is hosting top squash tournaments in 2023 – but the sport is a great way to keep active for all of us, whatever our age or ability

The world of squash had an exciting start to the year as the British Junior Open Squash tournament returned to Birmingham at Edgbaston Priory with more than 700 youngsters from 55 nations, competing in the girls and boys under-11s through to the under-19s.

Hopefully this may have inspired some new players, both young and old, to take up the sport. If you fancy having a go, here’s what to expect… 

Why play squash? 

Squash is a great physical and mental workout, it gets the whole body moving and active. A squash game lasts around 30 to 40 minutes so can fit into busy lifestyles and is a great family activity. 

Just some of the benefits 

Works Every Muscle Group – Squash can help to build strong, shapely leg and bum muscles. The sports require lots of dynamic lunging which will give you that toned look. Moving to and hitting the ball also helps strengthen the back and shape the abdominals.

Burns Calories – Squash is a great alternative to running on a treadmill or pushing it on an exercise bike. You can burn around 650 calories per hour on court and not even realise you are doing so.

It’s Quick – You only need 30 minutes or so to get a great all-round workout. So even the busiest people can fit it in around work, university, family and other commitments. You can even squeeze a game in on your lunch break!

Develops Agility – Leaping, spinning, stopping, bending, jumping, sprinting and running are just some of the moves the body has to make in a game of squash. Squash teaches quickness and equilibrium around the court, especially the power of the first explosive step and challenges speed by forcing you to move quickly while maintaining a strong and balanced position to hit the ball hard and accurately.

Sharpens Hand-Eye Co-ordination – Squash promotes good hand-eye coordination as repeatedly seeing the ball and adjusting your body and hand so you can hit it back under competitive stress forces the body to hone-in on target and destination. Since hand-eye coordination tends to decrease when we stop participating in activities that foster this type of coordination, squash is a premier sport to ensure your abilities are well-developed.

Compels Flexibility – Constant movement (particularly movement outside typical range of motion) is so often required in a game of squash, your joints and ligaments are able to stretch, promoting elasticity and blood flow in the body. Regularly playing squash will improve your flexibility, ensuring your muscles get the most stretch out of every game.

It’s Social – You’ll find a thriving social scene at clubs who organise regular club nights, leagues and special events. You’ll get as much enjoyment out of the drink in the bar afterwards as you do from the competition on the court!

Become a Warwickshire Squash Stars

Warwickshire Squash Stars is an initiative designed to introduce five-to-11-year-olds to this fantastic sport. For just £30 you receive a starter pack containing racket, T-shirt, goggles, bag and ball, plus four starter lessons at a club of your choice. For more information visit warwickshiresquash.org/squash-stars/

The Senior British Open will be in Birmingham for the first time in more than two decades when the world’s best players line up at Birmingham Rep and Edgbaston Priory Club between April 9 and 16. More details at: edgbastonpriory.com