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					   Civil Service Squash Rackets Association




Development Programme




Version:   Version 2
Date:      June 2007
                                                                             Page 2




          Civil Service Squash Rackets Association

                       Development Programme

                                         Content

               No        Description                            Page     Para

                1        Introduction                            3

                2        Background                              3

                3        Current Pressures                       4

                4        Current Position                        5

                5        Development Objectives                  5

                6        Development Programme                   5

                            improving the quality products      5     6.1
                             and services offered to
                             CSSRA members

                            maintaining the quality of the      5     6.3
                             sport being played

                            increasing   participation          6     6.10

                            improving    the organisation of    7     6.15
                             the sport

                7        Conclusion                              8




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1.     Introduction

1.1    This document was drafted by Paul Angelides of the Civil Service
       Squash Rackets Association (CSSRA) and the programme adopted by the
       CSSRA in June 2002.

1.2    It has provided a basis for the enhancement and development of the sport
       within the Civil Service. The document was reviewed and updated by the
       CSSRA in May 2007.


2.     Background

2.1    The CSSRA was formed in 1979 and has been an integral part of the Civil
       Service Sports Council (CSSC) since that time.

2.2    Until 2000 the main activities of the CSSRA were to promote squash through
       men’s and ladies representative teams and regional competitions. The
       regional competitions led to regional winners playing in an annual National
       Finals event, playing for the CSSC Squash trophies. These men’s and ladies
       trophies dated back to 1932, as a result of earlier competitions having been
       held prior to the formation of the CSSRA. Towards the end of the 1990’s
       concern over levels of participation in regional events lead to the
       consideration of other types of event.

2.3    In January 1996 an Interdepartmental mixed team competition was
       introduced. Since then this has been held on an annual basis but the
       requirement for teams to be from an individual department has been relaxed
       and teams can contain any CSSC players. This event has continued to attract
       a good consistent entry. New teams and participants are encouraged.

2.4    At the National Finals in 1999, another competition was introduced, a singles
       Veterans event. This has also been continued.

2.5    In 2002, the National Finals was replaced by a National Singles event, which
       has men’s and ladies categories playing for the Civil Service Squash men’s
       and ladies trophies together with Veteran’s categories playing for men’s and
       ladies trophies in several age groups. All these categories include graded
       events for different standards of player and these attract a good level of
       interest.

2.6    The National Singles and Team competitions are run each season, usually
       one in the first part of the season and the other in the latter half. Since the
       introduction of the CSSC multi-sport Games, the team competition has been
       held as part of the Games. These events have now been run at a variety of
       geographical locations as the organising committee search for ways of
       increasing the sports appeal and gaining greater participation.

2.7    CSSRA continue to run both a ladies and men’s team’s representative team,
       which play to an extremely high standard against the armed forces and other
       national organisations. Both men’s and ladies teams have been invited to
       participate in the annual Crown Services tournament event, the CSSC men’s
       team winning this for the first time in 2006.



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2.8    CSSC Head Office additionally organises special events such as coaching
       weekends. An example of this is at Millfield School where ex-World Champion
       Jonah Barrington has a Squash Academy.

2.9    The CSSRA Organising Committee (OC) and CSSC continue to look at ways
       to broaden the appeal of the sport and introduce new and interesting events.

2.10   In fact the section achieves a high level of participation. Efforts are made to
       create a balance between providing opportunities for greater participation at
       all standards and offering quality events and competitions which are attractive
       to dedicated competitors.



3.     Current Pressures

3.1    All sports within the Civil Service are to varying degrees experiencing
       pressure in respect of what they offer. These pressures are growing and
       arise from a number of sources. In respect of squash a few fundamental
       reasons can be identified

3.2    New sports and activities: Squash especially as a high energy sport has
       been affected by the increase in the use of gyms and fitness centres. Some
       squash courts around the country have been converted into fitness centres,
       reducing the opportunities for people to play squash in general.

3.3    Departmental pressures: The amount of time departments give staff to play
       sports varies considerably and Squash is no different to any other sport in this
       area. However, overall there does appear to be growing pressure from within
       departments to look more critically at the time given for sporting and leisure
       activities. This impacts not only in actual time given to attend events but also
       indirectly as members consider whether they should take official time to
       participate and attend events.

3.4    Players: Squash was dominated by players who took up the sport in the
       1970’s and 1980’s. Despite the competing interests of fitness centres and
       gymnasiums, which are reducing court availability in some areas, there is still
       a strong following and an increasing interest amongst young people to play
       the game.

3.5    Commerciality: Squash also suffers from not being so commercially
       exploitable. It is not as attractive spectator sport as some other sports, lacks
       media coverage and has less attraction for teenagers in the face of true
       media sports such as football. It has also suffered over recent years from a
       degree of lethargy and introversion from the national sports body, the
       England Squash (previously SRA), who have not assisted in the commercial
       exposure of the sport. This is being seen as slowly changing.

3.6    The above factors are recognised as placing a pressure on the CSSRA and
       nearly all are difficult to control. The CSSRA continues to seek ways to
       overcome these issues and the problems they pose.




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4.     Current Position

4.1    Squash is a minority sport and most clubs whether run privately or
       commercially have experienced problems as participating numbers have
       reduced and other sporting facilities such as gyms and fitness centres have
       offered alternative opportunities. Fortunately, the section has in recent years
       managed to broaden the appeal of their events as described above (see
       section 2) and the ongoing aim is to further the development and participation
       of the sport within the Civil Service.

4.2    The OC have therefore produced this strategy document as a means of
       providing a consensus on the broad approach to the development of squash
       within the CSSC.


5.     Development Objectives

5.1    The Development Programme (DP) has been developed against a
       background of certain key objectives:

              improving the quality products and services offered to CSSRA
               members;
              maintaining the quality of the sport being played;
              increasing participation; and
              improving the organisation of the sport.

5.2    The DP will continue to address these key features and provide an attractive
       and encompassing package, which will ensure that these objective are met.


6.     Development Programme

6.1    Improving the quality products and services offered to CSSRA
       members.
       One key way of increasing participation is by improving the quality and appeal
       of the products and services that are offered. This can be achieved by
       ensuring events:

              are suitably located;
              are considered attractive venues;
              provide appropriate participation; and
              are “professionally” provided

6.2    Sufficient evidence exists to show that the standard and quality of locations
       impact on whether participants consider an event has been successful or not.
       Therefore, over time, good locations provide greater participation. However it
       is also accepted that other factors have a significant impact such as cost,
       which is especially true for the singles event, where no financial support is
       usually available from a players department. Other factors include effective
       communication and advertising as well as the organisation of the event itself.

6.3    Maintaining the quality of the sport being played.
       To achieve this objective the consensus of the membership within the CSSRA
       is that it is essential to develop opportunities where:


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              the sport is played to the highest technical standard by all participants
              events provide opportunities for all participants to find and participate
               at their own standard; and
              the representative teams play to the highest standard

6.4    Technical Standards: The OC consider that providing quality exhibition
       matches and coaching opportunities provides an incentive for both attracting
       a wider participating audience and improving the quality of the sport being
       played in the Civil Service. Exhibition matches between top class players
       have been successfully held at a number of events. To date, the coaching
       approach has been successful at the National level with the attraction of ex-
       world champion, Jonah Barrington holding a master class, but has so far
       been less successful at regional or local level, which is an area which will be
       considered further. All these events can provide an effective foundation for
       sustaining the quality of the sport being played.

6.5    Whilst improving quality is primarily geared to the players, other areas of
       improvement have also been recognised, such as understanding of the rules,
       marking and refereeing. Additional programmes may be beneficial to
       promote players and others in this area to improve player ability and provide
       those who can act as qualified squash umpires and scorers for CSSRA
       events.

6.6    Competitors compete at their own standard: The OC recognise that
       events need to provide the greatest interest and be geared to the level of the
       participants. In this area the OC has introduced and organised graded events
       for players of different standards. In addition regional event programmes
       have also been trialled.

6.7    Representative teams: The above initiatives address the issues for players
       who are just beginning or who are seeking ways to improve. However, it
       should not be forgotten that squash is a competitive sport and that trying to
       excel is a natural characteristic. The CSSRA members believe that it is
       essential for the standards to be enhanced and that the corner stone of this is
       the development of the men’s and ladies representative team. It is
       recognised that creditable and viable fixtures for the teams are essential. Not
       having representative teams would seriously undermine the morale of
       players, who will feel devalued. It also gives a message of limited support for
       the section and removes the high standing that the teams are considered in
       from outside bodies. The Representative sides have achieved successes and
       credible results against both Services and national teams.

6.8    Places in the teams should be available to all CSSC members. Team
       selection will be on the basis of ladders, which will be managed by the elected
       team captains.

6.9    Given that squash is highly represented by mid age participants consideration
       will also be given to developing a national “vets” representative team.

6.10   Increasing Participation.
       The OC are conscious that it is essential that every opportunity is taken for
       ensuring greater appeal to CSSC members. This will involve not only
       attracting greater participation from existing player but also finding ways of



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       appealing to occasional and new squash players. The inclusion of the sport
       in the CSSC Multi-sport Games should provide this opportunity.

6.11   The OC recognise the need to promote regional events with the intention
       attracting people, who may have for a variety of reasons, not participated in
       the national events. This may be a way of significantly improving levels of
       participation.

6.12   As part of this programme review, consideration will be given to how CSSRA
       can improve the way it promotes and markets squash both within the CSSRA,
       the CSSC and the Civil Service at large. A key area here is the website
       (www.cssc-squash.co.uk) established at the end of 2006. Every opportunity
       should be taken to utilise this site and encourage CSSC members to indicate
       their interest in squash by registering on the site. Other areas to consider are
       using internal departmental communications, union literature, England
       Squash and the Scottish and Welsh Squash bodies.

6.13   Consideration should also be given to improving the lines of communication
       with existing players. To assist this, the OC will maintain a contact database
       run in conjunction with the website. It will also utilise the CSSC member’s
       database. Event questionnaires will be issued to players and team captains to
       permit feedback. Contact with other CSSC sports bodies will be maintained
       to establish what approaches they are adopting.

6.14   Finally within this area the OC will consider whether they should take
       responsibility for the development of related sports such as racket ball and
       how they can work more closely with other related CSSC sports such as
       tennis and badminton.

6.15   Improving the organisation of the sport.
       The CSSRA is conscious that their own organisation and effectiveness needs
       to be monitored. The following areas will be considered:

              structure of the CSSRA Organising Committee
              roles responsibilities of committee members; and
              roles and responsibilities of participating teams and individuals

6.16   Structure: The OC will need to consider whether their own structure is
       sufficient. Consideration should be given to whether departmental team
       captains or other participants can be co-opted onto the OC.

6.17   Committee roles & responsibilities: In respect of committee members,
       existing organisational roles will be monitored to ensure that clear roles and
       responsibilities exist both within the CSSRA and with respect to the CSSC.

6.18   Participating teams & individuals: The OC will consider whether greater
       use can be made of non-participants at events such as team managers and
       captains and how they can be incorporated and utilised effectively.

6.19   Specialist areas such as Health & Safety, including First Aid will also be
       monitored. A risk assessment for squash has been formulated and will be
       adhered to at all events held. First Aid cover must be provided at all events
       and participants are to be advised about insurance cover available.




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6.20   In addition to considering roles and responsibilities within the CSSRA
       consideration will also be given to the relationship with the CSSC and the
       consequential responsibilities and whether the current situation is correct and
       appropriate. It is also considered essential that the relationship between the
       two bodies are as effective as possible.


7.     Conclusion

7.1    This Development Programme is intended to provide a guideline for a
       process that will develop over the time as the CSSRA sees opportunities for
       developing and promoting squash within the Civil Service.

7.2    The Development Programme will be constantly monitored by the CSSRA
       with a formal review and update every two years.




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