The Heart of Scotland Appeal, a fundraising campaign by national charity Heart Research UK, have partnered with Scottish Squash to encourage more people to play the sport on the 9th October – World Squash Day
The Heart of Scotland appeal was launched in 2019 to raise awareness of the problem of heart health in Scotland, and to generate vital funds for pioneering research at Universities’ and hospitals across the country. Recently, Heart Research UK funded almost £300,000 worth of research at universities in Glasgow and Dundee to investigate links between COVID-19 and heart disease.
Coronary heart disease is Scotland’s single biggest killer, with lifestyle factors such as obesity and lack of exercise directly impacting upon a person’s risk.
In an effort to combat the statistic that more than a third of adults in Scotland do not achieve recommended levels of physical activity, the Heart of Scotland appeal has teamed up with Scottish Squash to inspire people across Scotland to get more active, and ‘Squash the Stigma’ that squash can be a difficult and inaccessible sport to get into.
They are calling for players across Scotland to get on court this World Squash Day to #SquashTheStigma by post a #SweatySelfie and donating to the Heart of Scotland appeal.
The best selfie from the day will win brand new squash equipment for their club.
In a survey by Forbes magazine, squash was ranked as the healthiest sport in the world. Forbes consulted with personal trainers, coaches and exercise physiologists, and ranked sports as being the ‘healthiest’ in terms of cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, calories burned in 30 minutes and injury risk.
Dr Sue Robertson, who is the current Scottish Women’s over-55 champion, played squash as a child before focusing on a medical career. After 17 years without playing, she picked up the game again.
She said: “I was truly terrible when I started again, and for a couple of years just played occasionally.
“I was introduced to Masters Squash (for over 35’s) and made so many new friends I wouldn’t have otherwise met. I was the fittest and happiest I’d been for 20 years, because it’s so good for your mental health, as well as your physical health.
“It fits into that busy life really well, way less time than a good gym session, but it’s so much more fun. Sport is just so key to a happy life.
“I work in an admissions unit in the hospital as a physician, so I see people every day with heart problems for lots of different reasons.
“I know about the benefits of sport and the benefits of physical activity, and if we have a society that encourages and educates people on that, then we will have a healthier society.”
Amanda Donaldson, Senior Fundraiser for the Heart of Scotland appeal, said: “We all know that physical activity is beneficial for our wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Here at the Heart of Scotland Appeal, we want to encourage as many Scots as possible to get more active, and what better time than World Squash Day!
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Scottish Squash to promote the sport as a great way to get fit, meet new friends and improve your heart health, and to raise awareness of the Heart of Scotland Appeal and the life-saving research that we fund.
“We can’t wait to see everyone’s #SweatySelfies as they take part in games across the country and help to raise vital funds for the Heart of Scotland appeal.”
Allan McKay, Director of Development at Scottish Squash, said: “We’re really pleased with our partnership with the Heart of Scotland Appeal as we share common values across both organisations to promote physical activity and healthy living. Through this partnership we can also raise awareness of the great work that the Heart of Scotland Appeal carry out every day.
“By linking the partnership to the 2021 World Squash Day on Saturday 9th October we hope more people will get on court and experience the excellent physical and mental health benefits that squash can offer to people across Scotland while support hear research.
“Make sure to share all your #SweatySelfies across social media on World Squash Day!”
For more on the campaign, including videos from supporters, please visit – https://heartresearch.org.uk/squash-the-stigma/
To learn more about the Heart of Scotland appeal and find out about how you can help, please visit https://heartresearch.org.uk/heartofscotland/. You can save 10% on your specially designed Christopher Kane Heart of Scotland t-shirt and badges using the code Squash at https://gift.heartresearch.org.uk/onlineshop/