ENGLAND Squash has launched a new initiative ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Squash Stars - a nationwide, junior squash participation initiative - aims to get children active and interested in the game.

A six-week programme, delivered from June, will introduce children aged 5-11 to squash. 

Hexham Golf Club have already enrolled.

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The course will help children learn fundamental squash skills, and develop hand-eye coordination, racket work, movement and match play through games and drills delivered by specially trained leaders. 

England Squash player James Willstrop, who won in the 2018 men’s singles event at the Commonwealth Games, said: “Sport has the power to improve lives, from all ages, and it’s really important to get involved as early as you can.

"As elite athletes, we have a role to play in helping to highlight the many benefits that sport has to offer – including both physical and mental wellbeing.

"I really hope that these 5-11 year olds that take part in Squash Stars really enjoy not just playing squash, but getting involved in sport and have fun in the process.”

All Squash Stars will receive six group coaching sessions, a free racket, a ball, bag and goggles.

Jo Rowbottom, head of partnerships and communities at England Squash, added: “Squash Stars is all about being active, having fun and making friends in a safe and inclusive setting.

"It’s a particularly exciting year for the sport and we’re thrilled to launch Squash Stars ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and inspire a new generation of players. 

"This initiative supports our long-term efforts to grow the game and will build on the fantastic work clubs do already in engaging their local communities.”

Parents can enrol their child onto the programme via www.squashstars.co.uk