Aberdeen will welcome Scotland’s thriving young squash stars this weekend when the city hosts the national junior championships.
The Scottish Squash Junior National Championships takes place from February 2-4 and is being held at the Aberdeen Squash and Racketball Club on Cranford Road in Mannofield.
It is the second event the Granite City club have hosted recently having competed in the Scottish National League for the first time in more than five years last month.
There has been a notable increase in youth participation at a local level with eight youngsters representing Grampian this weekend, up from three who competed in last year’s competition.
Numbers have risen thanks to investment from SportScotland and TRAC Energy which helped appoint a junior development officer through the Direct Club Investment (DCI) scheme, while collaboration with Scottish Squash and Aberdeenshire Active Schools has proven to be a success.
Former junior national champions include Commonwealth bronze medallists Greg Lobban, who hails from Inverness, and Rory Stewart, and Scotland’s current number one Georgia Adderley.
‘Explosion of junior squash’ in north-east
President of Grampian Squash Paul Charlton hopes hosting the event in Aberdeen will continue the trend of increased participation.
He said: “It’s hugely positive to have events like the Scottish Squash Junior National Championships being held in Aberdeen.
“Post-Covid there was a real gap in the development of junior squash in Grampian, but following investment from SportScotland, Scottish Squash and TRAC Energy we have started to see participation grow across the region.
“The collaborative work of coaches and management from all squash facilities in Grampian, particularly Aberdeen Sports Village, the Ellon Meadows Sports Centre and Aberdeen Squash and Racketball Club, have underpinned the explosion of junior squash that we’re currently seeing.
“Scottish Squash supporting this further by hosting events like the Squash Junior Nationals in Aberdeen give our local players a chance to test themselves against the best players in the country and showcase their talents in front of a home crowd.
“We are looking forward to seeing some great squash and can’t thank the hard work of all our coaches across the region together with the invaluable support sponsors like TRAC Energy.”
DCI lead coach Joe Ewen added : “It’s hugely positive to have events like the Scottish Junior National Championships in Aberdeen.
“It’s great for the junior players that want to see if they can compete at the highest level, but it’s also great for the kids that won’t take part to see the top players and to give them an idea of how squash can be played.”