Squash rated the healthiest sport
A RECENT survey in business magazine Forbes has rated squash as the healthiest sport of all and Gympie Squash Court owner Susan Kerr agrees.
She says the sport is one of the best ways to keep fit and have a lot of fun, too.
Forbes asked fitness experts to score a selection of sports in four areas, including cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility.
The report also incorporated scoring on calories burned and injury risk.
Squash was the winner, knocking over much more popular sports such as rowing, running, cycling and swimming.
Kerr said squash had been in the doldrums recently with a lot of larger city centres closing down and being sold to developers because of the value of the land, but by the look of it things are starting to turn around.
Gympie used to have two squash centres, one on Cartwright Rd that Kerr owns, and a second one on the Southside.
The Southside courts were converted into a house after squash numbers dropped off in the '90s.
Kerr said numbers had decreased from the sport's heyday in the '80s, making it hard to make money out of squash centres, but she was starting to get more players involved in the sport.
At the Cartwright Rd four-court facility, Kerr has about 250 members.
"That's pretty good," she said.
"We would love to see more come and play."
Kerr is starting to get the junior competition off the ground, with planned coaching clinics for kids.
She said children as young as eight could play squash and they could play until they die.
"I played a guy who was 86 in Brisbane," Kerr said.
"He kayaked the Brisbane River every day, he was awesome.
"It is a great cardiac workout and it uses all your muscles."
Kerr said the best thing was you don't feel you are getting fit - you are just running around having fun.
Apparently it's not just Gympie growing squash - new courts are being built all over the country, according to triple world champion Michelle Martin.
"There's definitely a revival," she told AAP.
"Ten centres went up around Australia last year and there's more on the horizon."
Squash Australia is delighted that dozens of courts are going up around the country.
The sport is entering a new era where most courts will no longer be housed in stand-alone centres, but rather in multi-sport complexes run by local councils.
10 healthiest sports
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