Mike Harris and Ming Lee are the original co-founders of Squash United by Birmingham. Combining business acumen with squash know-how, they have been a key driving force in ensuring that Squash United helps create a lasting legacy from the Commonwealth Games.
If you live in the midlands, there’s a good chance you know Mike as ‘Mr. Squash.’ A qualified coach for 33 years, and a Level 4 Elite High Performance Coach for 24 years, Mike has coached in England, Italy, Monaco, Saudi Arabia, and was the national coach of Finland.
Together with ‘Mrs. Squash’ (Vicky Harris), Mike has delivered community engagement roadshows across the midlands to share squash with communities of all ages and backgrounds, and recently took up the role of Squash United Coordination Officer.
Last year, the community engagement roadshows introduced the game to 7,000 children, and predictions are that by summer 2023, 50,000 will have picked up a racket for the first time at a roadshow.
“I absolutely love squash and racketball (Squash57), I’m extremely passionate about our sport and want to make sure that we do not waste this once in a lifetime opportunity to grow the game and leave a lasting squash legacy!” Mike says.
Ming, meanwhile, is the Head of Strategy for Warwickshire Squash and as one of Squash United’s co-founders has played a crucial role in the group’s strategy and projects.
“We got together during COVID lockdown, with the aim of changing the conversation from survive to thrive and a mission of having more people playing squash after Birmingham 2022 than before COVID-19. We both see Birmingham 2022 as a once in a lifetime opportunity to unite the squash community and grow the game from bottom up. Our programmes are designed to create a global squash pulse from a West Midlands squash heart,” Ming explains.
Within Squash United, Ming has been working on improving the accessibility of squash. He is currently working on building a number of permanent outdoor courts, which will bring the game to communities who may previously have had no opportunities to play. He is also in the process of setting up permanent school playground mini courts, which will allow children free access to the game.
For any youngsters in the midlands eager to pick up a racket, Warwickshire Squash Stars is the ideal programme. For £25, squash clubs around the county will be providing a mini-racket, t-shirt, ball, safety goggles and four coaching sessions! Find out more