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Squashgym is causing a stir amongst intermediate schools through the introduction of their KiwiSport
project, “Schools in Squash,” having already reached over 900 children in the Manawatu region.
The project, which runs until December, aims to increase the number of school-age children playing
squash. Thanks to funding from Sport Manawatu’s KiwiSport Regional Partnership fund, classes are able
to be transported from schools to the courts.
Groups of 20 to 30 students are given an introduction to basic racquet skills across eight courts to ensure
every one has time to develop their skills.
“It is important that we provide the kids an enjoyable experience as this may be the first time they have
stepped onto a squash court. We want them to want to come back and to keep playing,” says
Squashgym coach Jason Fletcher.
Kids are encouraged to choose squash as a school elective – playing the game once a week for one
term (10 weeks) – while working towards a rookie series later in the year. The rookie series will follow a
similar format to business house squash, with 15 minute games and handicapping to even out the teams,
and will run alongside the current intermediate school competition.
“The general response has been great from the schools, kids and teachers. We already have entries
from a couple of schools for the first time in the Intermediate Schools Teams competition,” says Mr
Squashgym has just passed the half way point for the project, which finishes in December, and has
delivered 39 sessions to 931 students so far – some of which have joined as club members as a result.
Sport Manawatu’s Mike Pettman says, “Squashgym are doing a fantastic job in encouraging young
people to participate in sport by increasing the facility’s availability and accessibility, which is all made
possible through Sport Manawatu’s KiwiSport Regional Partnership fund. Squash is really on the up in
this region and it is important that we support them being so proactive.”
The KiwiSport Regional Partnership fund is available to projects that encourage school aged children
to participate in organised sport. Funding is administered by Sport Manawatu, for more information visit