England Squash aims to increase participation diversity
England Squash is attempting to engage new and more diverse audiences in the sport with a campaign that is focusing on establishing sustainable roots in the multi-cultural UK city of Birmingham.
According to Joanna Rowbottom, the Head of Partnerships and Communities at England Squash, the campaign, which has launched in the wake of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, is designed to address a pressing issue.
“We already know that people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups are less likely to be aware of squash or take part in the sport,”
“As Birmingham is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, we felt it important that we address this inequality as part of our Birmingham 2022 legacy work.”
England Squash recruited a Community Engagement Manager, Asma Ajaz-Ali, who has been building relationships with local communities to grow their awareness of squash.
Using the portable mini court and rebound walls, the Community Engagement Manager has been taking squash to a new audience who are typically less aware of the sport.
The results so far are encouraging. Since July, over 3,000 people have had the opportunity to try squash at an event or facilities local to them, Rowbottom added.
A digital media element of the campaign will also drive awareness and challenge perceptions among young people of all genders aged 18 to 26 from South Asian communities, among other demographics.
To gather additional insights, England Squash will stage stakeholder meetings with clubs, venues and coaches, as well as surveys and user focus groups with the target audience.
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