Growing potential – Wandsworth SW18

Created: Oct 04 2019

Young, motivated Londoners from low-income neighbourhoods are getting the chance to grow their confidence, skills, and health & fitness through Squash Squared, within a nurturing community of like-minded peers.

“I like squash because I have been given a chance to get fit and confident in a sport I have never played before.”

John Amartiefo

Student, Year 4

Founded in 2015, the programme run by Stacy Ross, introduces children from primary and secondary schools in the surrounding areas to the sport of Squash, with weekly coaching sessions as well as after school tutoring in mathematics and other subjects where extra assistance is needed. The aim of the programme is twofold:

  • Raise academic achievement
  • Develop a new sporting skill and improve health & fitness

The coaching and extracurricular tutoring take place at The Wimbledon Club, where the charity operates and provides a beautiful setting for the children’s sessions.

Building Community

Strawberry Star first got involved with Squash Squared in 2018 through our Bronze development in Wandsworth just an 8-minute drive away; as local developers, we wanted to engage with the community at large and give back to initiatives that offer growth, development, and help to boost an area and the people who live there. We found that our vision of developing homes and communities married well with the aims of Squash Squared: building character, confidence, community, and lasting change.

Health, wellbeing, and obesity are big concerns in schools and society at large with a variety of initiatives by both the government and voluntary sector to tackle these rising issues early on in schools. The increased focus on wellness and sporting activity is due to a large body of evidence citing the positive association between physical activity and academic achievement.

‘Pupils engaging in self-development activities (including sport, physical activity) achieved 10-20% higher GCSEs.’

Encouraged by similar urban programmes in America, Squash Squared was the first Squash and education charity registered in the UK and serves 120 children each week from five London schools.

Bronze Status

“I feel happy and excited, especially because we are all improving. I was lucky enough to see the Squash Tournament and to watch our own coach Jordan Warne play.”

Kaima Azubike

Student, Year 4

Volunteers and donations are the engines that enable Squash Squared to maintain its program, which is currently oversubscribed by three to one. Children who qualify for the programme in primary school can continue when they get to secondary school via membership to The Wimbledon Club who proudly supports the Squash Squared initiative.

If you would like to get involved or donate to Squash Squared click here

Kings College School and Emanuel School support the program supplying sixth formers to tutor the primary school pupils significantly reducing the educational tutor to pupil ratios and facilitating one-on-one individualised tutoring in some instances.

We are proud to sponsor this initiative, which brings together peer-to-peer coaching, the support of local schools, individuals, and institutions to help change lives.

We are now looking to get more hands-on with our involvement with a friendly fundraising tournament, this December. Several of our Strawberry Star staff from Finance, Marketing, and Development are signing up, joining coaches and students to develop skills, raise funds and have some fun!

“Inspired by the incredible programs in the United States we started 5 years ago with a small group of children from one school and a vision – to introduce many children to our sport, raise academic attainment and improve their health. Thanks to Strawberry Star we can start to work with our sixth London school and begin to engage more deserving children.”

Stacy Ross

Operations Director, Squash Squared

Find out more about our Bronze development and the Wandsworth area here

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