Northwest Squash Team Invitational 2024

Mayor of Derry Strabane Council Patricia Logue attended on Saturday morning to warmly welcome the five visiting teams and open the northwest squash team invitational event at Brooke Park leisure centre, Derry.

Limavady Club played host in arranging the event for competitive matches between teams from Strabane, Mid-Ulster, Derry, Limavady, Ballyshannon and for the first time Ballymena who joined in after forming just six months ago.  

Mid-Ulster took top spot on the day with locals rivals Foyle finishing second.  Ballyshannon came 3rd, Strabane 4th, Limavady 5th and Ballymena in 6th place. 

It was brilliant to see such a wonderful competition between the sides, given that all clubs involved are less than ten years old.  Ballymena Club is only 6 months old, while Mid-Ulster and Limavady are only 12 and 18 months in existence respectively.  A new revival of interest supported by Ulster Squash, Irish Squash and local councils has tapped into the immense interest created across social media and networking with local community groups.

Ulster Squash representative Will Nicholson underlined his support for a new structure called the North West Squash League which would accommodate regular competition and support real time statistics which would naturally inform team development and evolve co-production as appropriate in future. He went on to say ‘Squash used to be really popular a generation ago until it almost went extinct due to nil succession planning.  Three steps to follow for future sustainability include team development,  league development and then club development.  After Saturday’s success here in Brooke Park we are about to embark on the second phase in October for the inaugural 2024 – ’25  North West League’. 

Finally he added ‘ the energy and enthusiasm amongst the teams here today can only bolster further growth in the time ahead.  In four years the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles will feature squash for the very first time and this global sport will of course generate interest & mushroom in participation.  Collaborations with stakeholders and providers can only help plan for and maintain demands of future populations given the diversity of demographic trends and cultures’.