Friday 27 February 2009

1.2 Big Macs (with cheese) or 10 glasses of wine

On hour of playing squash can burn off over 800 caloriesA table in todays's Sport magazine compares indoor sports by the calories they burn off in an hour.

Like the Forbes study from a few years back, squash comes out on top, but it's food/drink equivalency stats that catch the eye ...

Squash is the top indoor sport for burning calories, with 816 burned per hour (assuming a body weight of 150 lbs) - the stats are actually taken from the health/exercise website .

Most fun is comparing the calories burned against items of food or drink. The table below is for an hour of squash:

Below: A comparison of indoor sports showing calories burned per hour
Sport magazine

Read more ...

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Nicol v Power: Super Series Final 2003

The Super Series finals move to their new home of Queen's Club next month (a good idea? Vote over to the right!).

As a preview to the event, enjoy this fine rally between those great rivals Nicol and Power at Broadgate in 2003.

Is that Jonathon speaking French I hear ? ;)

Power eventually took the title 15-11, 10-15, 13-15, 15-4, 15-14.

Super Series history

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Monday 23 February 2009

Telegraph campaign seeks to save courts

the Telegraph campaign is launchedWe've been reporting the alarming rate at which public squash courts are disappearing in the UK for a couple of years now - click on provision, above.

So it's encouraging to see that the Daily Telegraph have taken up the baton to try and bring national coverage to this decline, as part of its rejuvenated squash coverage.

It has launched a campaign to save our sports facilities - with backing from some high-profile public figures ...

Its new campaign to save community sporting facilities in the UK is supported by Gordon Kerr, board director of England Squash. Kerr has started his own 'threats database' after being concerned at the number of clubs diminishing in north London alone (which has been followed closely here on squashblog).

The campaign is also backed by Tim Lamb, chief executive of the Central Council for Physical Recreation (CCPR), the independent voice for governing and representative bodies in sport, and Hugh Robertson, Shadow Minister for Sport.

At the root of the campaign is the aim of putting pressure on the UK Government to act on its PPG17 planning law. This states that:

"local authorities should ensure that provision is made for local sports and recreation facilities (either through an increase in the number of facilities or through improvements to existing facilities) where planning provision is granted for new developments (especially housing)."

Campaigners fear that this provision is being ignored, leading to open spaces, sports and recreation being threatened by diminishing built sports facilities. Squashblog has particularly followed the redevelopment plans for the Sobell and Finsbury leisure centres in Islington, which are under threat.

England number one James Willstrop has also added his voice to the Telegraph's campaign:

"It is pathetic. It is all money-driven and unfortunately sports facilities are not as viable as a block of flats."

Sign the Telegraph petition

squashblog coverage of squash provision

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Thursday 19 February 2009

Willstrop on Beachill

I'm going to post my own article on Lee Beachill's retirement very soon.

But in the meantime, read his coach Malcolm Willstrop's excellent review of Lee's fine career:

Willstrop on Beachill

Right: Did any player hold the ball better?

Read more ...

Monday 9 February 2009

squashblog poll: Do you agree with the change of Super Series venue?

Please vote!Next month the Super Series finals are to move to a new home at the Queen's Club in West London.

The Finals have mostly been held in recent years at Broadgate Arena behind Liverpool Street station in the City. Since the arrival of ATCO boss Ziad Al-Turki as the Chairman of the PSA board, the men's tour has been looking for increasingly prestigious venues to boost its profile.

The Queen's Club is probably best know as the venue for the Stella Artois Tennis Championships which traditionally provide a grass court warm-up before Wimbledon.

A good thing? Broadgate may have attracted passing City workers, but was it too small, too hidden away? Will Queen's Club bring better facilities for players and spectators and greater media attention to the event? Or might it suggest that squash is still the preserve of the private members' club?

See the poll over here!You decide. Have your say by voting in the poll to the right of the page ...

Read more ...

Monday 2 February 2009

Top spot in sight as Matthew looks to carry form into Nationals

Nick MatthewWith recent success as runner-up in the Tournament of Champions in New York - and heavily fancied for the British Nationals next week - it's fair to say that Nick Matthew is the hottest Brit on the tour right now.

For a player who has struggled with injury in recent times, 2009 could be the year that the Yorkshireman finally gets the recognition his commitment deserves ...

It is testament to Matthew's strength that he has been able to hold a position in and around the top ten while sustaining injuries. With Lee Beachill apparently set to retire at the Nationals, the number of English players who are set to challenge Egyptian dominance at the top of the rankings this season will diminish, and when at the top of his game, few are better equipped than Matthew to lead the charge.

Approaching the peak physical age for a squash players, there is a possibility - if he can keep fit and impose his own tempo on his opponents - that Nick may be able to enjoy a spell as the pre-eminent English player. His quarter final win over higher-ranked England teammate James Willstrop in New York will have been a psychological boost (as will have beating Ramy Ashour) prior to the Nationals, where the two Englishmen are seeded to meet in the semis.

They have a warm-up tomorrow night, where they have drawn each other in the latter stages of the Swedish Open.

Squashblog will not be in Manchester, but looks forward to watching Matthew in the final stages of the Canary Wharf Classic and Super Series finals in March.

Nick's journey back from injury

Matthew beats Willstrop: US Open 2007
Matthew rocks the Guardian

Read more ...