No squashing Nick’s dream

Nick Clegg meets world champion squash player Nick Matthew at Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club

Nick Clegg meets world champion squash player Nick Matthew at Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club

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A Sheffield-born superstar is making a racket about a new project designed to inspire the next generation of sporting stars.

Youngsters from some of the most deprived areas of the city and Rotherham will be offered free coaching in squash as part of the scheme, spearheaded by World Squash Champion Nick Matthew.

Children who take part will get the chance to travel to Hull for a masterclass with the 33-year-old before they watch him compete in the British Open in May.

Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg was invited to the project’s launch at Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club.

He said: “I was delighted to be able to support Nick and this outstanding project.

“We all know about his talents as an outstanding squash player.

“But by giving something back to the community and getting involved with this project, Nick is also showing what a great ambassador he is for sport.”

Funding for Nick’s programme comes from England Squash and Racketball and links to delivery programmes at local clubs which are being supported by its governing body.

Nick said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to get local kids active and enjoying squash and it’s a big boost to have someone like Nick Clegg involved and supporting the initiative.

“We need to make it easy for everyone, from every background, to get some coaching and start playing and loving being fit and active.”

Steve Amos, head of development at England Squash and Racketball, said: “England Squash and Racketball are delighted to be helping inspire a new generation of players in the local area.

“We are going to be linking activities to a number of local participation programmes in clubs and leisure centres.”