Pop-Up Squash Shops Prove a Hit in UK Shopping Centres Ahead of the IOC Vote

August 27, 2013

Empty shops that have been temporarily converted into squash courts have received widespread interest from shopping centres across the UK.

The Big Hit ‘pop up’ squash campaign by England Squash & Racketball is aimed at introducing people to the sport by transforming empty shops into courts, with interested players being offered vouchers for free sessions at nearby clubs.

Nick Rider, CEO of England Squash & Racketball said: “We were inundated from shopping centres across the country after our first ‘pop up’ squash shop was shown on BBC TV.

“The coverage led to the opportunity to have a month-long shop at Westfield Stratford, Europe’s largest shopping centre next to the Olympic stadium in London.”

Squash is battling to be included in the 2020 Olympic Games, and alongside baseball/softball and wrestling, will find out if their campaign has been successful at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) 125th Session in Buenos Aires in two weeks time.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Andrew Shelley, CEO of World Squash Federation said: “Squash innovates and generally evolves on an on-going basis, so while some initiatives have come out during the bid process they are not directly linked.

“We do have a story to tell about the journey that squash has been on and this will hopefully resonate well with IOC members in Buenos Aires.”

Carrying on in an official press release, Shelley added: “With less than two weeks to go until the IOC vote, this is yet another example of how the squash community is looking to innovate and engage new participants as well as hopefully create a new generation of squash stars.”

The pop up initiative is aimed at promoting squash to new markets, in particular the 18-35 age group.