Wheelchair Squash 57 – Session 1 Recap

Wheelchair Squash 57

Squash BC was thrilled to deliver our first session of Wheelchair Squash 57 this spring, in partnership with the Chilliwack Squash Club. This program was generously funded by a Canadian Tire Jumpstart – Community Development Programming Grant. The funding will also support a second 5-week session in Chilliwack and a soon-to-launch program in the Lower Mainland. Squash BC thanks Canadian Tire Jumpstart for their incredible support!

What is Wheelchair Squash 57?

Wheelchair Squash 57 is an exciting new adaptation of squash that engages participants the sport has previously been inaccessible to. Using the Squash 57 ball, racquets, and rules allows for longer rallies with a higher bounce. As well, participants who use a wheelchair are allowed to take a second bounce before hitting the ball. This adaptation allows the sport to be played fairly between a player who uses a wheelchair and one who stands, making the sport even more accessible and inclusive!

Program Recap

The program kicked off with a Try-It day at the Cheam Leisure Centre for members of the Chilliwack Cheetahs Junior Wheelchair Basketball Team and the Chilliwack Squash Club. 14 players tried the sport that day. The athletes took to the new sport incredibly well, with many having quality rallies in just a few tries!

Participants were then able to join a 5-week lesson program, led by Squash BC coaches. Throughout the lessons, our participants and coaches worked together to determine the best movement patterns, techniques, and tactics for the sport. Drawing on the coaches’ squash experience and the participants’ adaptive sport experience built a quality learning environment and yielded some exciting progress in how best to play this new version of squash!

“Wheelchair squash is an incredible para sport that feels like it can be very competitive. Figuring out the strategy between the chairs moving around the court and trying to hit your best shot was very satisfying! I worked with Shawn Zwierzchowski every week during the program and had a blast improving my skills every practice. Definitely a lot of potential for para squash as a whole!” – Program Participant Keaton (Age 19)

The grant funding also allowed Program Leaders to be trained in Inclusive Physical Literacy and several courses relating to Safe Sport and inclusive practices in sport.

Looking Forward

Squash BC is excited to continue developing Wheelchair Squash 57 in the weeks and months to come. We have sessions planned for Chilliwack and the Lower Mainland, but would love to expand the program further to engage participants in more of the province. If you are interested in trying the sport or know someone who might be, please reach out to programs@squashbc.com.