PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The gritty Hunting Park section of Philadelphia is an unusual location for professional squash courts.
But it's the perfect place for SquashSmarts. The nonprofit club is one of 15 nationwide dedicated to keeping inner-city kids physically and academically fit through squash instruction and mentoring.
Similar to racquetball, squash is often considered a sport for the elite in the U.S. But its demographics are changing.
Clubs in the National Urban Squash and Education Association serve about 1,400 at-risk students. That's a small segment of the school population, but one that receives intensive mentoring.
The association's executive director, Tim Wyant, says the philosophy is "inch-wide, mile-deep."
Interest in urban squash is growing. Supporters hope to start programs in four more cities this year.