Today Nick Clegg MP backed Sheffield’s triple World Squash Champion Nick Matthew in a pioneering local project that aims to inspire young people to get involved in sport.

Nick Clegg attended a squash coaching session at the Hallamshire Tennis and Squash Club with Nick Matthew and local children who are set to benefit from the initiative.

The initiative, which is supported by England Squash & Racketball, will give children from deprived areas in Sheffield and Rotherham a taste of squash with the opportunity for sustained, long-term participation through coaching programmes at local clubs.  As part of the initiative the children will get the chance to play squash with Nick Matthew at the high-profile British Open which this year will take place in Hull from 12-18 May.

The project is backed by England Squash & Racketball and links to local delivery programmes that the Governing Body are supporting in the local area. Nick Matthew and the children taking part were recently profiled in the BBC Inspired series, a nationwide campaign to inspire people to try new sports and activities.

Nick Clegg MP said:“I was delighted to be able to support Nick and this outstanding project. We all know about his talents as an outstanding squash player. But by giving something back to the community and getting involved with this project, Nick is also showing what a great ambassador he is for sport.

“Whether it be triple world squash champion Nick Matthew, gold medal winning Jessica Ennis-Hill, Wimbledon Champion Jonathan Marray or England Cricket star Joe Root – Sheffield youngsters have an array of local sports stars to inspire them to get involved.”

Nick Matthew said: –

“This is a fantastic opportunity to get local kids active and enjoying squash and it’s a big boost to have someone like Nick Clegg involved and supporting the initiative.

We need to make it easy for everyone, from every background, to get some coaching and start playing and loving being fit and active.”

Steve Amos, Head of Development at England Squash & Racketball, said: –

“England Squash & Racketball are delighted to be supporting Nick Matthew to inspire a new generation of players in the local area and will be linking activities to a number of local participation programmes in clubs and leisure centres”