ESSEX has been praised and heralded by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch for including squash in the their annual Schools Games event…the only county in the country to do so.
The partnership between Off The Wall Squash Academy based in Colchester and organising body Active Essex combined to stage a thrilling tournament at the Colchester Garrison with Year 5 and Year 6 players from 12 different School teams in action.
The popularity of squash is growing fast, due in no small part to innovative schools’ coaching programmes being rolled out by the Off The Wall Squash Academy, mirrored by several other coaches in the county including Paul Allen at Lexden Squash Club.
The finals of the recent schools Roman Cup at The Garrison saw over a hundred schoolchildren competing, and the action was repeated last Friday at the Essex Games. After almost three hours of action, Lawford Church of England School in Manningtree emerged as winners of the Year Five event with Ardleigh St Mary’s Primary School, Colchester taking the Year Six trophy.
Victory for Ardeligh was reward for an impressive new Community Squash Programme created with OTWS, a scheme that Active Essex Education Lead Brian Shaw has used as an example of excellence in a case-study sent to the Department of Education.
Nine schools competed in the event, an increase on last year with Wentworth, Frinton and Holland Park joining the line-up. Wentworth and Maldon Schools have also recently launched an after-school club linked to Maldon Park Drive Squash Club.
Adding squash to the list of events drew praise and support from several quarters, including Sports Minister Tracey Crouch who said:”I love all sports and used to play squash myself. It’s a great game. To hear that it is being played by more schools is wonderful. Congratulations to everyone concerned.”
Click here for a full list of results and final tables.