The Power Of People
What it means for squash.
Watching the amazing One Love Manchester Concert last night got me thinking about the power of crowds. The atmosphere was off the chart. Obviously this was a particularly special concert fuelled with emotion after the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London; but where crowds are concerned, more people equal more passion and a greater atmosphere.
People love going to concerts, football matches, or squash matches, and the bigger the crowd the better. People unite with each other and create chemistry. It’s human nature, hence why it is better to watch a football match with 60 thousand others than just with your mum and dad on the side line.
As a performer too, crowds bring the best out in us, and again, the bigger the better. I know some people can freeze with nerves, but generally performers thrive with atmosphere. Performers live for centre stage, and if that can be in front of thousands of people instead of just tens, then superb!
Squash is an extraordinary sport but has one flaw, and that is the crowds are naturally limited in number due to the size of the playing arena. A full house at a top squash event will see a few thousand watch, whereas a football pitch which is so much larger can obviously house more spectators. A squash court takes up a floor area of 62.4m squared; compare that to 8000m squared for a football pitch; so you could fit 120 squash courts into a football field!
Saying this though, a squash arena is a more intimate one compared to larger sports, which creates a uniquely intense atmosphere. Squash crowds are generally extremely knowledgeable about the sport they love… so it may be very well for Cristiano Ronaldo to play in front of 60,000 fans every week, but for our top squash boys who play in front of 2,000 adoring fans, appreciating and feeling every shot, is a truly remarkable feeling.
I think what I’m getting it, is a plea to squash fans, to continue to support our great game. Go along to every match you possibly can. Realise the power your presence has on the rest of the viewers and on the players themselves. Bigger crowds will lead to bigger crowds. You are what make our sport great, and if you continue to support squash, prize money will increase, events will become even bigger and even better, atmospheres will become even more electric, and our sport will continue to grow, and who knows – one day even the Olympic Committee may take note and reward us with a spot in their famous sports event!