As part of the Hertfordshire Year of Physical Activity 2018 initiative, a group of residents with links to the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership have started what is believed to be the UK’s first ‘walking squash’ league.
Based at the University of Hertfordshire’s Sports Village, the group, all with a love of squash but either getting on in years or carrying mobility injuries, have got together with sports partnership director John O’Callaghan to devise a new game which can accommodate the group’s limitations.
Walking squash uses a red spot training ball for additional bounce and players are restricted to one corner of the court. Anything in front of the court’s ‘T’ is deemed out of play.
The league has proved hugely popular and benefits from a handicapping system, making most games close encounters with each point averaging rallies of more than 15 shots.
“Squash is such a fantastic game, not only in terms of skills development and as an outlet for the competitive spirit, but it also delivers an excellent workout.
“For those of us either getting on in years or restricted through injury, walking squash is the perfect release valve.
“With the popularity of other walking sports, [football, rugby, netball basketball] very much on the up, we thought ‘why not squash?’
“The inaugural league has been thoroughly enjoyable and immensely competitive.
“There are five of us in the league with a combined age of over 260 and a list of injuries that would frighten most A&E departments.
“When I had my ankle fused – ironically as a result of a squash injury – I thought my playing days were well and truly over. This adapted version of the game, has given me a new lease of life.”
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