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High Life Highland announces partnership with Scottish Squash to promote the sport across the Highlands

By Alasdair Fraser

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Steve Walsh, chief executive of HLH, with Ailsa Polworth (right) of Inverness Tennis & Squash Club and a young club member
Steve Walsh, chief executive of HLH, with Ailsa Polworth (right) of Inverness Tennis & Squash Club and a young club member

High Life Highland is teaming up with Scottish Squash in a bid to encourage greater Highland participation in the racket sport.

The partnership will seek to nurture a new generation of talent from a region with a rich history of developing world class squash players - including current professionals Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban.

The new collaborative approach precedes the 2021 Springfield Scottish Squash Open, set to be hosted at Inverness Tennis and Squash Club from September 22 to 26..

High Life Highland (HLH) 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 coordinators and volunteers as well as flagship programmes in community sport hubs designed to drive a more active Highland population.

Scottish Squash, the game’s national governing body, will work with HLH now aim to deliver a broad community outreach squash programme across the region.

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

Steve Walsh, chief executive of HLH, 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.”

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