The Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead, MA and US Squash, the sport’s national governing body, have announced a pilot program during which US Squash will hire and place a teaching professional at the facility beginning in May 2018. The US Squash teaching professional, trained in program management and officially certified as a Level 1 Coach, will then begin work within the YMCA’s activity structure to drive participation and member engagement in squash.

The more than 14,000 members of the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA, combined with squash’s growing popularity regionally, provides the potential for significant and robust programming for adults, juniors, and families. Junior squash will become more integrated within existing YMCA after-school and camp programming. Adult offerings will aim to build on an existing enthusiastic playing community to boost league and clinic activity as well as women’s participation. The facility features three singles courts and one hardball doubles court.

“Squash has been a longtime component of our YMCA, dating back to our Pleasant Street facility. Preserving it as a unique fitness and competitive offering for our members and the community has been a significant focus for our Y over the past year,” stated Gerald MacKillop, Jr., Executive Director of the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA. “I am thrilled for our members, the squash community and community at large to partner with US Squash, the sport’s preeminent organization in the country. We are thankful to the team at US Squash for recognizing our Y as the right partner in this pilot program. My hope is that the success I anticipate can be replicated at other Y’s across the nation.”

US Squash anticipates that learnings from the pilot program will be applied to an expanded future program to recruit and place teaching professionals at YMCAs and other community-based facilities around the country. The model is a first for squash in the U.S., and follows other similar program innovations, such as the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA partnership with the Boston Ballet.

According to Kevin Klipstein, President & CEO of US Squash, “We really appreciate the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA’s trust in us in partnering on this pilot program. US Squash is focused on meaningful lifelong positive engagement in squash, and part of this role is delivering qualified, well-trained professionals to facilities across the country. We’re confident that the experience will be a positive one for all involved, and will help set the stage of our ability to partner more deeply with organizations such as the YMCA to increase access to the sport.”