Manchester – The Largest
Squash Programme in England
During the week of the Nationals, Manchester Head Coach Chris
Lengthorn and his team of coaches entertained and educated
over 2,000 Manchester school children about squash.
So, what happens now…
has headed up the largest coaching programme in England for the
last four years and what you see during five days at the
National Squash Championships is the tip of the ice burg in
relation to the development and legacy work around the
Over the four years Chris has been working in Manchester he has
seen the development and performance programme grow from
strength to strength.
Each year his team of coaches exposes more than 14,000 school
children and adults to squash and racketball across the city of
These large numbers of participants are exposed to squash and
racketball through the hundreds of schools programmes which
encompasses a fully comprehensive schools programme, curriculum
squash sessions for primary and high schools, team training
sessions and squash roadshows. These participants then filter
into our community and club structure that operates out of seven
facilities which operate 6 clubs, three of which have only been
established in the last couple of years.
of Manchester’s community and club programmes are nearly at
capacity which has helped to bring investments into Manchester
Squash such as a potential title sponsor for the whole programme
(more to come soon), a complete new refurbishment to all 3
courts at Moss Side Leisure centre, hopefully a new
four-court facility in Manchester and of course the
colourful new squash corridor at the National Squash Centre.
The rewarding part of the programme for Chris comes in taking a
small per cent of that number and producing nationally ranked
athletes through his Manchester squash academy: “Making the
switch from development and performance is the exciting bit for
me. I got into coaching to coach and work with like-minded
people to help them pursue their full potential.”
Manchester squash academy hosts 28 players that train twice a
week at the National Centre and travel around England and Europe
representing the Manchester Academy.
With a fully comprehensive schools, community and club structure
that all feed into the performance sessions and all complemented
with major events like the Men’s World Championships, Manchester
has built up a solid reputation for a great development and
Moving forward with the programme, Chris is looking to develop
Racketball across the city further (so watch out for the
Manchester racketball festival) and expanding on the
performance programme by creating more independent, skilful
learners that can compete nationally.