One Sport Fits All...fitness and fun at the University of Malta Over the past six months Kunsill Malti għall-iSport (KMS) has been supporting an initiative at the University of Malta to promote corporate fitness and participation in physical activity and sport at the workplace.
This initiative started last year when a number of University staff at the Computing Services Centre (CSC) who had just started playing squash came up with the idea of organising a Squash Ladder in order to encourage more staff from different University departments to play squash together. The CSC approached the Institute of Physical Education and Sport at the University and KMS who both helped the CSC get this initiative off the ground.
A squash ladder basically consists of a list of players ranked according to their ability. A player can challenge players higher up the ladder and if the challenger wins he/she will move up the ladder above the other player. This enables players of different level of ability to find other players of similar ability to play with, while offering a continuous incentive to keep on playing regularly.
The University of Malta Squash Ladder was launched in December last year and there are now more than 30 members of staff from more than 8 different departments participating. About 200 squash ladder matches have already been played with most of these being played during lunch break or just after work.
It has remained popular among staff and is continuing in full swing during the hot summer months.
The University Squash Ladder even has its own website at: http://campus.um.edu.mt/squash/
Through this website squash ladder participants can challenge each other, book squash courts and enter the results online with the ladder being automatically updated.
Some of the most active squash ladder participants are University staff who had no previous squash playing experience and some had never even taken active part in any other sport before. Encouraged by the squash ladder, some of the more seasoned players who had not played squash for a number of years also decided to dig out their squash rackets and are again playing squash regularly - and are now much fitter than in their younger years!
So much interest has been generated in the sport through the squash ladder that no less than seven of the participants have since joined the Malta National Squash League. The squash ladder has also had a ripple effect on staff family members and friends. A number of members of staff have introduced the game to their partners and friends. In fact one husband and wife are now active participants in the National Squash League. The National League organisers have recently had to add another division to their league system to accommodate the increasing interest from University staff, partners and friends. Some University staff taking part in the squash ladder recently took part in a friendly team competition against staff from three other companies and this could lead to more regular corporate squash team competition events.
Besides encouraging staff to be more active in sport, this initiative has helped increase interaction between staff in general to the benefit of both staff and University. The University of Malta Staff Squash Ladder has undoubtedly been a great success story. KMS would like to encourage similar corporate sporting activities and initiatives and invites any organisation who is interested to embark on a similar sports programme to email firstname.lastname@example.org .