ESF Squash Think Tank 2023
More visibility for the sport in social media, more resources for coaches and strong business cases for venues
Between January 27th and 29th, European Squash Federation member nations came together in Bucharest to seek solutions on how to grow squash, in a first of its kind Squash Think Tank.
The event organised in partnership with the Romanian Squash Federation managed to gather 30 of the member nations, also joined by the President and CEO of the World Squash Federation, as well as external experts and representatives of court development companies.
The Think Tank was based on the Design Thinking methodology and coordinated by specialists from The School of Design, and was aimed at finding solutions to 6 major challenges for squash:
- recruiting juniors;
- gaining visibility of the sport;
- recruiting amateur players;
- increasing the number of courts;
- offering support for coaches;
- ensuring diversity in sport.
After a first day in which participants were exposed to inspiring talks from speakers hailing from e-sports, the tech world and even social media influencers, they gathered in teams and had to work together to research, ideate and conceptualize solutions on how to best address the challenges.
While the solutions were very diverse, the main themes revolved around leveraging more digital solutions to enable coaches, clubs and federations; using more social media to grow the visibility of the sport and recruit a more inclusive player base, and providing centralized best practices and business cases for the local venues and business communities (including for the concept of outdoor courts).
Overall, there was a general feeling that all organizations around the sport (European, Global, and Professional) should pull together their resources in order to maximize their impact.
At the end, the ESF board and each member nation participant signed a pledge to see that the actionable solutions identified will be put into practice with the right experts, and in the right teams.
ESF thanks its members and partners for being very committed and involved during this 1st Think Tank, and re-assures them that this is just the beginning of the process of improving our sport.