Behind the Espace Zen et Forme, in the activity area of La Garenne in Méreau, five children are preparing for their training. Aged between 5 and 12, they chose squash as an extracurricular activity. Every Wednesday afternoon from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., they take part in a class with the Zsquash association.
Created four years ago, it has just been labeled “French Squash School” for children by the French Federation of this sport. It is the only one in the vierzonnais but in Saint-Germain-du-Puy, the Squash Club of Bourges has also received this certification. Hugues Bodin, president of the Marologian association, is delighted with this affiliation: “It allows us to have financial assistance and it is also a guarantee of quality for the parents. »
A sport little known to children and parents
If for this year, the school has five recruits, last year, three children took part in the lessons. “It’s a sport that is not well known to parents and children,” adds Hugues Bodin. This year, young amateurs are discovering this racket sport thanks to Virgil Petit, the school’s volunteer coach.
The five young recruits from the squash school are motivated for their training session. Photo Chloe Plisson
Invented in the 19th century in England, squash is generally played two against two between four walls. “It’s the only racquet sport where the two opponents share the same playing surface,” explains Virgil Petit. In France, there are 200,000 practitioners according to 2018 figures from the French Squash Federation. In 2019, the French women’s team won the European team championships and the men’s team, the bronze medal.
In Méreau, the 31 members of the Zsquash association are not there yet. Classes for adults are also offered on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. “But the future lies with children,” insists Virgil Petit, who wants to popularize this sport. “Squash is a fun sport that works on motor skills, tactics and which expends a lot of energy in a very short time. However, the school does not yet have the space to accommodate more young students. “We only have two courts and, for the moment, I am alone to manage several levels”, details Virgil Petit.
Practice. For more information: Zsquash, 5 avenue du Val d’Arnon ZA La Garenne, Méreau, Tel: 02.48.51.57.31 or by email: email@example.com