Squash has been played for over 140 years and is now enjoyed on nearly 50,000 courts in more than 185 countries. Squash is a global sport with an estimated 15 million players worldwide and on every continent.
The game originally hails from London’s Fleet Prison in the early 19th century. The prisoners used to pass the time by hitting a ball against the prison walls with rackets. Around 1820 the game was taken up by English schools, including Harrow, and it was from here that squash as we know it developed. The first four squash courts were built at Harrow in 1864 and squash was officially founded as a sport.
Despite several attempts to have squash included on the Olympic programme, it has still not made the cut. In 2012 baseball and softball were eliminated from the programme, which made room for two new sports. Even though squash and karate beat rugby sevens, golf and roller sports in the vote, neither obtained the two-thirds majority needed. When the Olympic programmes for 2016 and 2020 were chosen, squash was pipped at the post again.