On the day that squash courts reopened across England (15th April 2021), international legends Nick Matthew and Daryl Selby announced their Back to Squash exhibition tour in September and early October, supported by sports and fitness equipment specialist Sweatband.com.
The Back To Squash Tour will be hosted at 10 venues across the country and help to raise the profile of the game at the start of the new season during the countdown to World Squash Day on October 9.
Matthew vs Selby
While Matthew, former World No.1 and three-time British Open and World Open champion, is keeping fit running his Academy based at Hallamshire after retiring from the PSA World Tour, former world No.9 and national champion Selby returned to competitive action last week in the AJ Bell Super 8 competition in Manchester.
“I really enjoyed it but the body felt a bit sore at the weekend,” admitted Selby.
Daryl and Nick are good friends, long-time England team-mates and joined forces to create the Bobby and The Wolf podcast broadcast during the early phase of lockdown last year.
Nick has just been appointed Assistant coach to the England Commonwealth team for the 2022 event in Birmingham , where Daryl has been encouraged to take part in the Men’s Doubles seeking another medal after his Silver in Australia (2018) and Bronze in Glasgow (2014)
Both players missed the competitive play during the lockdown periods and also the interaction with fellow squash members during the pandemic, where all venues were closed and then restricted play when they did reopen on the 15th April.
They are now looking forward to helping the game get back on its feet after the effects of lockdown. Intimate venues will give spectators the chance to see two of Britain’s most famous players up close and personal, and there is sure to be plenty of banter and interactions with the crowd.
How can you buy tickets for the Back to Squash tour?
Tickets are being driven by the clubs to encourage new members or members to return by hosting the inaugural event that has not been done before. There will be a limited number of tickets available for each leg of the tour, and these can be purchased via the individual clubs.
As well as giving the squash community a chance to see two of Britain’s greats do battle on the court, the Back to Squash Tour aims to get more people involved at all levels of the sport.
Creating a legacy
Selby said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be a part of the Back to Squash tour with the legend that is 3 time World Champion Nick Matthew. Sport has suffered a tough 15 months and especially an indoor sport such as squash, but to be able to visit clubs up and down the country and try and help inspire people to pick up a racket again fills us with great excitement! This whole tour wouldn’t be possible without the support of Sweatband who have been integral in helping put this 10 club, 4 week tour together and for that many people will be extremely thankful.
At each club myself and Nick will put on clinics and masterclasses prior to getting on court for some fun matches against the local players, culminating in an exhibition match and a (hopefully insightful!) Q&A.
We both feel strongly about trying to help promote our great sport of squash in as many ways as we can. I know that Sweatband also share this philosophy and I hope this tour can be something hugely positive within the British squash community and bring people together at local clubs again, which are the heartbeat of squash here.
My thought behind this whole tour was to try and make it an annual event and try and also utilise the best British players, male and female, to really promote the sport across the country. The idea is to reach different clubs and areas and help inspire juniors, seniors, coaches and the general public by sending the best players each season in to showcase squash and drive the sport forward..
Let’s hope this inaugural Back to Squash Tour is a great success and thanks once again to Sweatband for sharing the vision..”
Connecting with the community
Nick Matthew OBE added: “It’s great to be back on court again and buzzing to be doing battle with my great rival Daryl Selby. It’s fantastic that sweatband.com is involved and supporting the Back to Squash Tour and to help us get into as many clubs as possible and get people playing squash again.
“The other key point is the help of sweatband.com in bringing events that connect with the UK squash community and bring clubs back to life after this last year. Really looking forward to the dates in September.”
Maz Darvish, CEO of sports and fitness equipment specialists www.sweatband.com, said: “The Back To Squash tour for us represents an opportunity to support this fantastic sport, connect with the squash community and inspire more people to take up the sport after visiting the clubs, all while working alongside two legends of the game.”