From double medal success on the sport’s Commonwealth Games debut to World Doubles and European Team medals in recent years, Scottish Squash remains a key player in he international game. To round off our Sport Focus, here are 12 things you might not know about Squash at the Commonwealth Games and beyond:
1. Squash is played by more than 25 million people on nearly 50,000 courts in 185 countries around the world.
2. Squash is a core sport that must be included at every Commonwealth Games and made its Commonwealth Games debut in 1998 where Scotland won one gold and one bronze medal.
3. Squash has also made two Commonwealth Youth Games appearances – at the inaugural Games in 2000 in Edinburgh and at Samoa 2015.
4. Squash was first played at Harrow School in the mid 1800s and developed from the game of Rackets, popular at the time.
5. As the sport grew, the spread to a global audience was personified by Hashim Khan. Born in a small village in Pakistan he went from unofficial ball boy at the local British Officer’s Club to local squash pro to winning the 1951 British Open, the most prestigious competition in the world at that time.
6. Eye protection is mandatory for all players in Squash doubles matches and players on each team must wear matching outfits.
7. The name Squash comes from the ‘squashing’ of the rubber ball against the wall – softer than the hard ball used in its sister game Rackets.
8. Squash balls are unique in that they need to be ‘warmed up’ by hitting for a few minutes before play begins.
9. The Titanic had a squash court and the professional, Fred Wright, went down with the ship.
10. Prince Philip played Squash while Queen Elizabeth II was in labour with Prince Charles.
11. Squash was voted the World’s healthiest sport to play by Forbes magazine based on endurance, strength, flexibility, calories burned and risk of injury.
12. Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban won World Doubles gold in 2016 and followed up with silver in 2017.
Find out more about the sport in the Commonwealth Games on our dedicated Squash page and look out for our next sport focus as we profile each of the 25 sports to have featured since the Games began in 1930.