Introducing squash to inner city children across London along with leadership skills and tutoring in English & Maths

Currently running successful Play & Learn projects in Hackney and Waltham Forest


We introduce children to the sport of squash through initiatives that encourage personal, academic and athletic achievement. Our community projects provide sporting opportunities for disadvantaged children across London and we help to secure threatened public sports facilities. The founders are all amateur sportsmen who see sport as central to life and want as many children as possible to be able to develop useful life skills from playing games. Our coaches are all England Squash qualified and DBS checked.

About Us

Spirit of Squash Limited is a company limited by guarantee (ie without share capital) and is therefore a not-for-profit organisation. It is run by James Sandwith, an entrepreneur and sports marketing consultant. We have an administrator who manages the delivery of our “Play & Learn” and other community projects across London, and a part-time Development Officer who leads our public sector fundraising activity. We have a growing team of ten coaches.

Spirit of Squash’s management committee includes Anthony Todd (Chief Executive of Aspect Capital) and Stephen Welton (Chief Executive of Business Growth Fund). The enterprise is privately funded but we started to attract a small amount of public funding in 2016 which we hope to build in the future.


Weekend Squash at Britannia Leisure Centre, Hackney N1
Saturdays from 2-5pm

Weekend Squash at Green Spring Academy, Tower Hamlets E2
Saturdays from 2-5pm

After-school Squash at Sobell Leisure Centre, Islington N7
Mondays: Year 10/11 (16yrs) 4-6pm
Contact: Carl George (carlgeorge5@icloud.com) Tel: 07980 810290

After-school Squash at Britannia Leisure Centre, London N1
Thursdays: Yr 6 group from 3:30-4:30pm
Contact: Nicola Smith (ncavanna@virginmedia.com)

Play & Learn in Hackney
Shoreditch Park Primary School, N1 5JN
Year 6, Every Thursday (term times):
3:30pm-4:30pm Numeracy Tuition at Shoreditch Park Primary
4:30pm-5:30pm Squash Tuition at Britannia Leisure Centre
Contact: Steve Thompson 07906 330305

Play & Learn at Waltham Forest
Our Lady and St George’s Catholic Primary School, E17 3EA
Year 5 and 6, Every Wednesday (term times):
3:30pm-4:30pm Squash Tuition at Walthamstow Squash Club
4:30pm-5:30pm Numeracy Tuition at Walthamstow Squash Club
Contact: Paul Fennell 07710 204037



  • Charles Cunningham

  • Nicola Cavanna

  • Ivy Dieltiens

  • Carl George

  • Daniel Henderson

  • Ashish Lakhlani

  • Martin Shippey

  • Stephen Thompson

  • Lester Cantem

Charles has played and absolutely loved his squash since he first picked up a racket at the young age of eight. Through his school years he was top of his age group, represented his region (Western Province in South Africa) and even won the annual regional tournaments for a few years. Since school he has played men's league squash every year, representing the University of Cape Town (UCT), and then the Western Province Cricket Club, before moving to Dublin in March 2006, where he played for Old Belvedere Squash Club (winning the club championship one year), and was even invited to represent Leinster in Ireland's inter-provincial tournament (which they won). On moving to London in April 2010, he has played league squash for a few clubs, most notably the former (great) New Grampians Squash Club. It was in London that he embarked on his long-running dream to get into coaching, and has now completed his Level 1 and Level 2 coaching certification. Charlie is hugely passionate about squash, and about all the social and physical benefits the sport offers. We love that he is so passionate about the game and that he's always keen to hear and learn from other players' perspectives and experiences.

Nicola started playing squash when she was 12 years old at a small club in Essex where her parents both played.  She had coaching as a junior before moving into a ladies team and played regularly in the Essex League for many years. After moving to London in 2007 and having two children and a long break from the game, Nicola became interested in coaching the sport and obtained the Level 1 Coaching Award in September 2016 along with having the DBS, Safeguarding Children in Sport and First Aid certificates.   Nicola feels very privileged to be working with Spirit of Squash helping to promote the game and introducing it not only to her own children but to other children and adult beginners in her local area. She looks forward to working towards achieving the Level 2 Coaching Award in the near future.

Ivy has been playing squash for more than 25 years. She first took up the game with her brother, when they found a couple of rackets at the sports club their father, who never played squash himself, managed in South Africa. Although not formally coached, squash was on the list of sports offered during PE lessons at school and Ivy grew to love the game. In London, she continued with the sport and was encouraged by Chris Vine to do her Level 1 coaching certificate which she successfully attained in November 2013. She is looking to do her Level 2 at the next available opportunity. Ivy brings a refreshing take to coaching mini-squash in schools. Having joined the Spirit Squash coaching team in July 2014, she has ably assisted and gone on to lead sessions at the Play & Learn project at Greenspring Academy.

Carl has been playing squash for over 20 years and was encouraged in 2003 to get his coaching qualifications due to work he was doing with juniors at The Woodford Wells Club. He is a qualified UKCC L3 Squash and Racketball Coach with England Squash. Carl has undergone an Enhanced DBS check, holds a current First Aid at work and Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults certificates. He is keen to promote squash participation for all ages and at all levels, from complete beginners to advanced players and will be encouraging players to try their hand at Racketball as well. Carl is the main coach at The Sobell Leisure Centre and runs group sessions there: Contact Carl: 07980 810290 & CGeorge5413@BTinternet.com

Daniel began playing squash when he was 7 years old and has 18 years experience. He played for 9 of those years at junior regional level and represented the county of Middlesex 5 times. He achieved bronze and silver medals consecutively at the London Youth Games and competed at various bronze and silver junior England Squash events. Daniel represented Brunel University in the first team for 4 years and contributed to 2 division victories. He also played for the Men’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams at Coolhurst Squash Club as a junior. He currently plays at Middlesex Men’s Division 3 standard, and is a qualified Level 2 squash coach.

Ashish is a keen player who has recently taken his sport to a more committed level by gaining his Level 1 Squash Coaching qualification. He regularly helps at the Finsbury Leisure Centre junior squash club on a Friday night and assists in other Finsbury Squash Club activities. Ashish also leads the Finsbury section of an organisation called Meet-up, which helps like-minded squash players to gather on a week night or weekend for social squash. Like all Spirit of Squash coaches, Ashish is fully DBS-checked and has undergone training in First Aid in the Workplace and the Safeguarding and Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Martin is a part-time Level 2 England Squash Coach and keen club and county league player. Currently coaching juniors and adults in Ealing, Islington and Hackney, he enjoys introducing juniors to the game through club and schools programmes and helping adults increase their enjoyment through improved technique.

Stephen has been playing squash for the last 8 years and studied Sports Science at Loughborough University where he held the post of President of the Squash Club in his final year. His passions lie in increasing the quality of coaching players receive from the grassroots all the way up to club level and beyond. Stephen is an enthusiastic coach who having also qualified as a Personal Trainer some years ago takes a keen interest in the physicality of the sport and brings that to every coaching session. Stephen is a Level 2 certified Squash Coach and currently works with a few clubs within Middlesex and Surrey and is very excited to be a part of Spirit of Squash.

Lester was the cornerstone of Spirit of Squash's community projects from our launch in 2010 until he moved to Australia in 2015. He has been playing squash for over 20 years and is an England Squash qualified UKCC L1 and L2 Squash Coach. He was named as the 2013 Participation Coach of the Year by England Squash for his extensive and committed coaching in primary schools, universities, local leisure centres and on community days, as well as leading a ladies-only squash clinic each Saturday. His enthusiasm is second to none and we miss him but still benefit from his wisdom imparted from the other side of the world.

Formerly a junior county and regional badminton player Paul switched to squash at the age of 26 and progressed to playing in Middlesex Division 1 while running the first team out of Finsbury Leisure Centre in Islington. He is a Level 2 coach.   Paul has a degree in Sports Studies, a Masters in Sports Science and a PGCE in Physical Education and has worked and been involved in the health and fitness industry for the last 25 years. He has worked in all areas of the industry including public facilities, private and corporate gyms, the NHS, local authority and was a personal trainer for a few years running his own business and online company.   More recently, he spent 5 years working for England Squash as a Regional Manager and is currently Chair of Middlesex County Squash and Racketball Association, so remains firmly connected to the squash world.


Spirit of Squash was founded by designer and entrepreneur James Sandwith, private equity investor Stephen Welton, and hedge fund chief executive Anthony Todd. They are all amateur sportsmen who continue to see sport as central to life and want as many children as possible to be able to develop useful life skills from playing games.

Spirit of Squash is kindly supported by like-minded partners who provide specialist services to help achieve our goals…



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Latest News

Play & Learn Project culminates with end of year celebration

Children from Our Lady and St George’s primary school in north east London celebrated the completion of the 2017-18 academic year in style. They have spent the year learning new squash skills and complementing their school work with additional numeracy and literacy studies. Each week on Wednesday afternoons they attended after- school sessions at Walthamstow Squash Club for an hour of squash plus an hour of additional academic studies. Paul Fennell and Vicky te Velde led the programme – bot...

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Get in touch
If you see the value in getting kids to play sport, if you love squash, if you want to support us or contribute in some way, please get in touch at Play@SpiritOfSquash.com.

Paul Fennell – Operations & Development Manager

James Sandwith – Director