Big Hit ‘Pops-up’ a Squash Shop in Manchester City Centre!
BRITAIN’S FIRST POP-UP SQUASH SHOP, has opened in Manchester’s Corn Exchange, making use of redundant retail space to create a temporary high street squash court.
The ‘squash shop’ concept is being rolled out across the UK by England Squash & Racketball as part of The Big Hit campaign which engages the public with these sports. “We feel that empty shops can be put to better use for the community by using them as a temporary squash shops,” said Steve Amos, Head of National Network at ESR. “Working with retail management to make them available and staffed by our regional coaching team, we want consumers to walk out of a clothing store and straight in to a squash shop for a quick taster session and to learn the fun and health benefits that you can have with a squash racket and a ball.”
There are more than 2,000 clubs with squash courts in the country and almost half a million people play squash every month in England, and the sport hopes that its bid for Olympic status in 2020 will continue the increase in participation that it has enjoyed in recent years.
Launching the first squash shop in Manchester was one of Britain’s top female players Laura Massaro. The world number 3 from Lancashire thinks the squash shop is a great way to get the public playing; "I think it’s a great idea. Squash is the perfect sport to put in the 'shop window' and because we play on courts not much bigger than this shop, the experience for shoppers to pick up a racket and have a go, gives them a real feel for how much fun the game can be. There is so much redundant retail space on Britain’s high streets, that making good use of it to get the public playing a sport like squash is so blindingly simple. The Big Hit should be a big success."
The BBC Breakfast team including sports presenter Mike Bushell even came down to give it a try, tune into BBC to see how they got on.
Find out what the Big Hit is all about and get involved in the next tour event!