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The past, present and future of squash

We know that behind every good club is a team of even better people. This is achieved by learning from the past, living in the present and believing in the future. Take a look at how squash has changed over the years and how you can be ready for the future.

Past Present Future

Over the years we have seen first-hand that, no matter how successful a club is, there is always room for further growth. Improving participation growth and membership acquisition and retention is crucial to club success and longevity. Clubs flourish when their people achieve results and have a fantastic time playing squash.

We know we can attract people to our clubs by providing them with health, motivation and social solutions for their sporting needs. However, to make this happen we are continually innovating to find new ways to make playing squash fun and effective, to increase the number of people who regularly play squash and to support our local clubs to achieve success.

To help us get there we need to learn from the past, live in the present and believe in the future.

Membership The squash industry has historically held a privileged position with regards to participation and traditional club membership. Traditional squash club membership has declined from 25,889 in 2002 to 18,586 in 2012. This is holding steady for now but there is no indication that this is going to grow. By understanding your existing members better and what your potential members are looking for, your club can start to reverse the downwards membership trends.
Capability The capability of squash club operations has always met the demand and expectation of squash consumers. The demand and expectation of the squash consumer has increased and squash clubs are required to operate more effectively and deliver more varied products and services. By assessing your situation, you will be able to identify areas for improvement, plan how to develop them and, with support and resources, effect positive capability changes to your operations and become a leading club within your District.
People The ‘Baby Boomer’ generation has selflessly given their volunteer time and dedication to support community squash clubs. Squash club volunteers are rapidly declining, paid employment is increasing and the research is telling us that the most financially viable squash clubs have a strong volunteer environment. With volunteer recruitment, retention and reward programmes you will be able to effectively engage existing and future volunteers regardless of generation. This will help to create a volunteer culture and help to reduce costs.


Squash coaching has traditionally been the domain of volunteers. The philosophy of squash coaching has had a shift to an athlete centred competency based approach. A healthy squash club coaching environment that involves a pool of coaches and coaching services has proven to increase the value proposition that squash clubs are offering existing and future club members.


Junior squash participation was previously a low focus for squash clubs and most juniors were introduced to the game through a family member.  We are currently experiencing a catch up phase with squash club memberships due to the lack of junior programmes in the past. We know that junior participation is important but the key to success is through a positive junior squash club environment. If ALL squash clubs create a positive junior environment today, ALL squash clubs can expect to experience the influx in membership when they mature and become our traditional squash club members in the future.

Squash New Zealand has huge ambitions for the future. Find out more here

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