A brand new sport, developed in Scotland, is due to take place in churches across the country following a pilot in the east end of Glasgow.
Racquet WALL – a derivative of squash played on only one wall – has been described by its backers as "a resounding success", after trials with a local primary school at the Church of Scotland run Church House in Bridgeton.
The venture is being developed by the Scottish Churches Commonwealth Games programme in association with Scottish Squash and Racketball Limited (SSRL).
On Wednesday 9 November, at 1.30pm, there will be an official launch at Church House, Boden Street in Bridgeton in the East End of Glasgow, with youngsters and some of Scotland’s best squash coaches taking part.
Chris Plews, Churches’ Commonwealth Games co-ordinator, said: “The 2014 Games gives us a chance to develop new health opportunities for young people, and we believe that church facilities are well placed to be resources.
“It’s great that Racquet WALL has been such a hit with kids from the east end. The game uses a standard racquetball racquet and racquetball ball. It is so easy to pick up. All we need is a decent sized wall and the line markings – it’s that simple. There is no reason why we cannot set up courts in church halls right across Scotland”
John Dunlop, SSRL’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Chris and the Scottish Churches’ inter-denominational Commonwealth Games initiative"
“Our priority is developing participation in our sports and fully embracing the IOC’s 'Sports for All' initiative that addresses the serious health and wellbeing issues that all of society faces today, which sport can help to address.
“The development of Racquet WALL has been inspired by our commitment to the CashBack for the Communities initiative of the Scottish Government and is the result of great dialogue with Chris and his team over several months.
“We particularly want to give children of all ages, the opportunity to get involved in this fun new sport - giving them a sport they can do, a great work out, and improving their health and wellbeing.
“Who knows, we might even in time produce the Scottish Squash stars of the future from Racquet WALL. With our new sport we simply say 'where there’s a wall, there’s a way'."
The Scottish Churches’ Commonwealth Games programme, entitled More Than Gold, hopes to enable churches to serve and witness to their communities, the organisers, athletes and the many visitors who will attend the event.
Mr Plews said: “In the past churches at both the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games have offered a wide range of initiatives including hosting athletes’ families, providing chaplains in the athletes’ villages and even giving out water to the crowds.
“The Racquet WALL launch shows that we are committed to bringing an imaginative approach to the Games, and hope this will be the first of a long line of successful community-based partnerships.”