We’re very excited to announce that the Philip King Charitable Trust has granted Spirit of Squash £10,000 towards launching a new Play & Learn project in Hackney. This builds on the success of our first Play & Learn at the Green Spring Academy in Tower Hamlet where we have worked with Year 7 children, introducing them to squash alongside tutoring in English and Maths and leadership courses. Having completed the 2015-16 academic year, Spirit of Squash expanded the project to include both Years 7 and 8 from September 2016. The new project in Hackney will launch soon making use of public courts at the Britannia Leisure Centre. Pupils will be selected from local schools and the ambition is to make children active, to improve their co-ordination and concentration, and to teach them new skills while improving their essential literacy and numeracy. James Sandwith, Director of Spirit of Squash, summarises the plan: “Giving children the chance to play sport is so important, but allowing them to learn basic life skills alongside their exercise is even better. Learning a sport, gaining from the social benefits that accompany sports participation, and then improving your maths, all in a safe and secure environment – now that’s special!” A big thank you to the Philip King Charitable Trust. Let’s make this a success.
2015 has been another successful year for Spirit of Squash. The Partnership with Tower Hamlets Youth Sport Foundation was sustained for the whole of the 2014-15 academic year and we continued to deliver in-school and after-school programs in the London Borough of Islington. A new focus on education was developed during the first six months of 2015, with our 'Play & Learn' project now well established at the Bethnal Green Academy. Modelled on the successful American urban squash programs, this initiative combines regular squash with tutoring in literacy and numeracy to deliver social, sporting and educational benefits to children in need. Wow!