School squash a massive hit

SQUASHED: Students Shani, Chloe, Luna, Sylvan, Lyrdhan, Daisy, Sapphire, with new squash coaches Mitch Brewer and Chris Booth.
SQUASHED: Students Shani, Chloe, Luna, Sylvan, Lyrdhan, Daisy, Sapphire, with new squash coaches Mitch Brewer and Chris Booth. Vivienne Pearson

BRUNSWICK Heads Public School is serving distance from the local squash courts so the school has decided to add the fast-moving, four-walled court game to its sports elective options.

"We love using community facilities like the beach, the river, the skate park and the tennis courts for our sports,” relieving principal Melanie Currie said.

"So when the kids suggested squash at the Bruns Gym, it made perfect sense.

"We were thrilled to obtain funding from Sporting Schools Australia to develop the sport, including training teachers as squash coaches.”

The plan hit a hurdle when no coach was available locally but just before abandoning squash as an option, Geoff Davenport, holder of Squash NSW's coaching and development portfolio, offered to fly up from Sydney to provide the training.

In addition to training a group of the school's teachers, learning support officers and a volunteer in the skills needed for them to coach, Davenport donated junior-specific equipment that will help the children tackle the sport with confidence.

"Friday's session went very well,” Davenport said.

"The teachers were motivated to learn and pass their knowledge on to the children. Squash was once one of the biggest participation sports in Australia and we are on a mission to re-establish the game as a sport for everyone.”

Sporting Schools Australia is a $160million Australian Government initiative designed to help schools increase children's participation in sport.

The school's squash program fits perfectly with its aim of connecting schools with community sporting opportunities.

"Most of the students hadn't heard of squash before but love the challenge of the enclosed court space,” Ms Currie said.

"Squash is awesome,” said Lyrdhan, a Year 6 student.

"It is really great how you can hit the ball hard in any direction and it never goes out - because you're playing in a box!”

Topics:  brunswick heads public school public education squash

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