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Drive to get more women playing squash in Inverness

By Will Clark

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An innovative new fitness programme called H//T Squash made its debut at the Inverness Tennis and Squash Club as part of the annual Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week, organised by Active Scotland.

Inverness squash
Inverness squash

H//T Squash is a bespoke programme designed by females for females, developed in partnership with Scottish Women in Sport. The aim is to provide a fun and engaging first experience of squash for female participants in an inclusive club environment.

The Inverness programme is run by the club’s general manager, Ailsa Polworth, and combines introductory squash skills and a H//T circuit-based workout to ensure that participants can improvetheir fitness while learning about a new sport.

Women and girls participation in squash is low, with only 24 per cent of females being represented within clubs across Scotland. Inverness relaunched H//T squash in line with Women and Girls in sport week 2021, offering free places on the eight-week programme for two new cohort.

Both sessions were quickly booked up with 14 new participants starting the programme this week and due to high demand, the club will add additional dates for programmes starting in January.

The programme received funding from the Scottish Government’s Women and Girls Fund, which has invested £300,000 in projects across Scotland to improve women’s access to sport and physical activity, as well as break down barriers to participation.

Scottish Squash chief executive Maggie Still, said: “We have invested funding from the women and girls fund to improve access to squash for women and girls across Scotland.

“Our new H//T Squash programme is the perfect blend of fun, fitness and training and we hope it creates a lasting legacy for those involved in all levels of the sport.”

Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week is an annual weekly programme organised by Active Scotland and supported by Sport Scotland. It shines a light on participation of women and girls in sport and physical activity, and the benefits it can have on physical, mental and social health.

According to the 2019 Scottish Health Survey, in the 13-15 age group, only 30 per cent of girls are meeting physical activity recommendations, compared to 44 per cent of boys.

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