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Soon: All-glass squash court at New Street Station ahead of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Via Faye for Squash United
Thousands of commuters and Birmingham residents are set to discover the exciting sport of squash and meet the world’s best players ahead of this year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games when a world-class glass court is erected inside Birmingham New Street Station’s state-of-the-art atrium from 4th to 11th April 2022.
An action-packed week of activity is planned to rally the local community which will see thousands of school children having a hit on court as well as open play sessions for the public, a number of taster sessions including squash for beginners, plus exhibitions matches and an opportunity to meet professional players.
The glass court is being built to inspire a new generation of players and create a lasting legacy for squash across the region as the sport celebrates its starring role in the Games being held at the University of Birmingham Sport and Fitness in July and August this year.
The station is one of the busiest transport hubs in Europe and is used by an estimated 170,000 people a day, many of whom may never have played squash or seen it played live.
This is not the first time squash has been played in a railway station, the glass court at New Street Station is inspired by a similar court installed at New York’s famous Grand Central Station, which hosts a professional squash tournament every year.
The court is the latest in a series of initiatives by Squash United, the collaborative group leading the squash legacy programme which is an official project of United by Birmingham 2022, the community programme for the Commonwealth Games. Spearheaded by England Squash, the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Foundation, Rackets Cubed and the World Squash Federation. Squash United’s aim is to take squash to new audiences and make the sport more accessible than ever.
Birmingham has a storied history with the sport while 2018 Gold Coast squash silver medallist Sarah Jane Perry, who will be among England’s medal hopes again this summer, is from the city and learned to play in Kenilworth.
On 8th and 9th April, passengers and passers-by will get a taste of just how exciting and dynamic live squash can be when the glass court hosts the semi-finals and finals of the University of Birmingham Open – a professional tournament on the PSA Challenger Tour.
On 10th and 11th April the public will be treated to a sneak preview of the Birmingham 2022 squash competition when a host of the world’s best squash players, including England No.1 and local star Perry, head to New Street Station fresh from competing at the World Doubles Championships in Glasgow.
The programme for the week is:
- Monday 4th April – Public open access and local school sessions (Morning), Squash 57 mixed ability sessions (Afternoon) Squash 101 sessions (Evening)
- Tuesday 5th April – Public open access and local school sessions (Morning), Local NHS worker sessions (Afternoon), Squash57 exhibition and club sessions (Evening)
- Wednesday 6th April – Public open access and local school sessions (Morning), Legends sessions (Afternoon and Evening)
- Thursday 7th April – Public open access and local school sessions (Morning), Inter Services Finals – Army, Navy and RAF (Afternoon)
- Friday 8th April – Public open access (Morning), University of Birmingham Open PSA Tournament semi-finals (Afternoon and Evening)
- Saturday 9th April – Public open access and local club sessions (Morning), University of Birmingham Open PSA Tournament Women’s and Men’s Finals (Afternoon), Public open access and local club sessions (Evening)
- Sunday 10th April AM – Squash Girls Can (Morning), Public open access and local club sessions (Afternoon)
- Monday 11th April – Meet the Birmingham 2022 squash stars
The squash programme at the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held between 29th July and 8th August 8 at the University of Birmingham, with medals on offer in singles and doubles for men and women as well as for mixed doubles. The home nations have a strong record of success in squash, with England and Wales winning multiple medals in successive Games, so there should be plenty for local crowds to cheer. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will also be broadcast live on BBC TV and radio.
Discover more about Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games here: birmingham2022.com/sports.