PARENTS in Bournemouth are being encouraged to help their children get more active by taking up squash.

Recent data from Sport England’s Active Lives survey found activity levels among young people have generally returned to pre-pandemic levels.

However, the number of children aged seven to nine taking part in sport or physical activity for at least an hour each day has not recovered as well as other groups.

In fact, just 39 per cent of children that age are considered active – 4.5 per cent lower than before the pandemic.

England Squash, the governing body which oversees the sport domestically, is determined to play its part and has launched a programme aimed at not only introducing children to the sport but getting them active in the process.

Squash Stars is aimed at children aged between five and nine and sessions are being run at Bournemouth Sports Club from February 4.

Children taking part will be taught the fundamental skills needed to play squash, and expert coaches will help them improve their hand-eye coordination and all-round physical literacy, as well as working on important life skills like resilience and teamwork.

The six-week local Squash Stars programme costs £42 – or just £7 for each session. Every child who signs up will also be given a free racket, Squash Stars t-shirt, ball, goggles and kit bag.

Joanna Rowbottom, head of partnerships and programmes at England Squash, said: “Squash is a fantastic sport and a great way to help young people get active.

“The focus at the sessions is very much on having fun, getting active, and making new friends. We want all the children who take part to soar in every aspect of their life and that starts with a positive experience with sport.

“Squash Stars is suitable for everyone; it doesn’t matter how much or how little sport children have done before. There are friendly, welcoming clubs and coaches ready to help your child get started and enjoy the benefits of this amazing sport.”

To book your child a place now, visit: