Participants receive weekly blocks of squash coaching led by Adam Turner, a semi-professional squash player and coach and three-time Squash World Champion and Sheffield Hallam Honorary Doctorate Nick Matthew.
The programme also provides a series of inspiring educational activities aimed to support the development of leadership and team-work skills, with sessions including a Scratch Programming tutorial, a smoothie making workshop led by a Sheffield Hallam MSc Nutrition student and a Dragon’s Den challenge.
Sessions are largely led by volunteer teacher education students from Sheffield Hallam, with a focus on building confidence, teamwork and creativity
Steel City Squash started delivery with a six-week pilot project at Goodwin Sports Centre in 2021 and has since run several similar programmes across Sheffield, with further sessions planned. Over 50 local young people have taken part in the sessions to date.
Head Coach, Adam Turner, said: “I feel this past block has been a huge success and it was great to see so many girls getting involved this time around. There is definitely a lack of girls in the squash community, so hopefully this great momentum continues, especially in the long term. We are also supporting groups in local communities who might not normally have access to these facilities and activities.
I must say a huge thanks to all the volunteers from Sheffield Hallam, as without them we wouldn’t have been able to run the sessions. Our group this time were particularly impressive, not only by how organised they were but also their creativity in lesson planning.”
Cameron Simmonds, second year Early Years and Primary Education with QTS, said: “Volunteering at Steel City Squash has been a good experience in terms of building own confidence, working with children outside the school curriculum and developing relationships with children in a non-teacher role.”
Nazneen Jehangir, second year Early Years and Primary Education with QTS, said: “Volunteering at Steel City Squash has been a positive experience in terms of building own confidence, useful before going into classroom. I really enjoyed it and was surprised by how easy it was to engage with the children. I liked that it was relaxed and not curriculum based and focused on developing resources.”
Rose Parnell, aged 8, said: “They taught me to hit it against a wall and get it back, against other children. It was very, very fun. I’d tell all my friends at school they should do it. It’s exciting playing matches and we had to run quickly and learn where the T-line was.”