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Partnership set to inspire new talent across the Highlands


By Tom Ramage

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Scottish Squash and High Life Highland have announced a new partnership which aims to drive participation in squash across the Highlands.

The region has a rich history of nurturing and developing world class squash players - including current professionals Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban.

It is hoped the collaboration will inspire a new generation of talent ahead of the 2021 Springfield Scottish Squash Open, taking place from September 22-26 at Inverness Tennis and Squash Club.

High Life Highland develops and promotes opportunities across the Highlands in various sectors, including sport, leisure, health and wellbeing.

The charity, formed in 2011 by The Highland Council, has a network of Active Schools co-ordinators and volunteers as well as flagship programmes in Community Sport Hubs which play a significant role in driving a more active Highlands.

From left: junior squash player Zac Paton, Steve Walsh the chief executive of High Life Highland and Ailsa Polworth, manager of Inverness Tennis and Squash Club.
From left: junior squash player Zac Paton, Steve Walsh the chief executive of High Life Highland and Ailsa Polworth, manager of Inverness Tennis and Squash Club.

Scottish Squash and High Life Highland now aim to work together in the coming months to deliver a broad community outreach squash programme across the region.

The new initiative has been boosted by a grant of £6,000 from National Lottery Awards for All Scotland – a joint awards programme from The National Lottery Community Fund and sportscotland.

Steve Walsh, chief executive of High Life Highland, said: "I am delighted that our Active Schools and sports development teams are working in partnership with Scottish Squash to provide young people with the opportunity to find out more and try out the sport first-hand.

“The partnership means we have a fantastic addition to our bounceback 2.0 campaign and complements our aim to return to normality as soon as possible after the pandemic.

“Providing access to sport is an important part of that process and who knows could even produce a future Scottish champion from the Highlands."

Scottish Squash head of competitions, Allan McKay, said: “We’re thrilled to announce this partnership with High Life Highland.

“Working with their Active Schools network and wider sports development team, we aim to significantly increase community-based squash opportunities as we approach the 2021 Springfield Scottish Squash Open.

“Following a tough 12-months for the sports sector, this represents a great opportunity to kickstart squash in the Highlands and we’re hugely grateful to the National Lottery for underpinning the programme.”

Springfield Properties chairman, Sandy Adam, added: “We’re really excited to hear Scottish Squash has partnered with High Life Highland who, like Springfield, work hard to promote happy and healthy communities.

“Their involvement will enable further engagement with young people in the Highlands, introduce a new generation to the world of squash and may even uncover new talent in the run up to the Springfield Scottish Squash Open later this year.”

The 2021 Springfield Scottish Squash Open is taking place from September 22-26 at Inverness Tennis and Squash Club. More information can be found at www.scottishsquashopen.com


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