Glowing with pride: Warwick Squash are aiming to replicate the success of their 2013 UV Festival. photo: Warwick Squash

UV Squash returns with a vengeance

If you were at Warwick last year you would have found it hard not to notice the now infamous UV Squash Festival.

The first of its kind outside of Hungary, it attracted over 140 people from campus, as well as local clubs and community groups. It also played host to the world’s first UV Squash Exhibition Match between world number 69 Charles Sharpes and number 13 Tom Richards.

It was a hugely successful event in terms of getting Warwick’s sporting reputation into the public domain.

Since the festival, similar events have made appearances as far away as New Zealand and the United States and publicity of the event was even used to help back the Squash 2020 Olympic Bid.

This year, Warwick Squash are bringing UV squash back to campus on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th February, and their aim is to make the UV squash experience even better than last year.

“Last year was amazing. The event was huge; a great advert for our club and the University,” enthused vice-president Kieran Rawal.

“But this year we want to focus less on the big showpiece events like the exhibition match and all the fancy kit.

“This means the price of participating is now just £5 – down from the £12 charged per person last year.

“We’ve also got better lighting so shadows and dark sports will be reduced from last year.

“We’ve responded to feedback from last year’s event by making UV courts bookable as you would book a squash court normally, so you don’t have to sign up to sessions if you don’t want to.”

Warwick Active Sports Development Coordinator, Jen Emeny-Green, was one of the driving forces behind the project last year. Once again she’s hoping that the event can encourage more people into sport.

“The main idea behind UV Squash is it’s a fun and relaxed way to try out a new sport,” she said.

“We’ve got more community groups coming in, we’re holding a UV Squashercise session, and we’re still holding an exhibition match involving some of the top local players.”

The only concern was whether people who did it last year would want to come back for a second try, but President Mark Le Conte doesn’t think that will be an issue.

“With so many improvements it’s going to be a better experience on court than last year,” he said.

“UV Squash is just so much fun. It’s an unmissable opportunity even if you have done it before.

“And of course we have a whole year’s worth of freshers to tap into and plenty of people from around campus and the local area who missed out last year.”

It seemed difficult to improve on an event as successful and big as last year’s UV Squash. However, the Warwick Squash exec and Warwick Sport have listened to last year’s feedback and have attempted to improve every element of the experience.

Interested parties can sign up and pay to whichever court booking or session you’d like at http://warwicksport.warwick.ac.uk/warwickactive/events/.

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