Chingford squash professional Lauren Selby has been praised by world champion Laura Massaro for furthering the cause of women's sport

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Connaught squash coach Lauren Selby. Connaught squash coach Lauren Selby.

Squash world champion Laura Massaro has praised Chingford squad professional Lauren Selby for her role in encouraging teenage girls to play sport.

Sport England figures show an alarming drop-off in the number of females participating in sport, with the figures for teenage females the most concerning.

Chingford coach Selby is doing her bit to tackle the problem, hosting one of the country's first squash tournaments only for girls and ladies on June 14.

The event will be held at Connaught squad club in Chingford, with Massaro and England team-mate Jenny Duncalf both attending.

Massaro said: "There is a problem with some teenage girls drifting away from sport. There are many factors, boyfriends, pressures of study, entering the work place, plus a lack of bespoke events for women and girls.

"Squash is recognised as one of the best sports for all-round fitness and events like the Connaught Challenge will help show what we have to offer.

"This a fantastic event and I want to see as many girls and ladies down at Connaught as possible. It will be a great day of squash where the girls and ladies get the chance to show how good we all are. Essex is lucky to have someone like Lauren Selby driving the sport.

"Jenny Duncalf and I can’t wait to meet everyone there," added Massaro.

The day will include a number of activities aimed at promoting the women's game and begins with a tournament open to those of all ages and abiltities.

There will also be an opportunity to take on Selby and Duncalf for those who fancy their chances against the England pair.

All profits from the day will be re-invested in Essex Junior Squash.

Selby commented: "We have quite a healthy programme for girls’ squash and we want to build on that. We have been running an exciting schools coaching scheme which has unearthed some amazing young talent. Our event at Connaught will showcase some of the best."

For ticket information and entry forms, contact Karen Selby at karenselby@gmx.com or call 07866455594.

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