Readers of The Squash Life Blog will be familiar with the development of squash in Iran, particularly the inclusion of women in the sport at both national and international level. Now, here’s Masoud Ghareh Ziaeddini – the head coach of the country’s national squash team – to describe a new initiative to attract more people to the sport. Three-wall squash uses a scaled-down, open-air court to give children and adults alike a racket game experience as close as possible to the four-wall, indoor version. Costing US$700-800 to build, the bright courts can be blue placed in locations where people are already gathering for recreation and, equally as important, watch others playing and enjoying themselves.
With a population of over 85 million, a young demographic distribution and a border with squash-cultured Pakistan, Iran is well placed to develop a ‘feeder’ network of the three-walled courts to attract the players of tomorrow. So far, 100 courts have been built in just 3 months with a first-year target of 300 well within reach. Next month, with the involvement of the Iranian Squash Federation, a national three-wall squash championship will be held in Zahedan, a south-eastern city with a population of 500,000.
With squash lovers keen to attract others to the sport, the Iranian initiative is both imaginative and low-cost. Most importantly, it also looks fun to play which, as squash emerges from its enforced pandemic hiatus, is perhaps its most promising feature of all.
YouTube, the World Population Review and the Iranian Squash Federation.