BOURNEMOUTH Sports Club and Canford Magna Squash Club are set to host Squash Stars, ahead of this summer's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Squash Stars is an initiative aimed to get children interested in the sport and keep them active.

In the last edition of the Games in 2018, England's James Willstrop upset the odds to win squash gold in Australia's Gold Coast.

The six-week Squash Stars programme, delivered by participating clubs and venues from June, will introduce children aged 5-11 to the fun game of squash. A host of squash clubs up and down the country have signed up to the initiative and will be delivering sessions in Poole and Bournemouth.

Clubs in the area currently enrolled include Canford Magna Squash Club and Bournemouth Sports Club.

Squash Stars will help children learn fundamental skills to play squash, and develop hand-eye coordination, racket work, movement and match play through action-packed fun games and drills delivered by specially trained leaders.

Willstrop 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, and a free racket, a ball, bag and goggles to help them get in the game.

Jo Rowbottom, head of partnerships and communities at England Squash said: “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 now enrol their child onto the programme via