Ackworth School played a significant part in the squash career of former pupil James Willstrop who was world number one throughout 2012 .
During his time at Ackworth School, James won the World Junior Championship as well as becoming England’s most successful junior player ever.
Willstrop won silver and bronze medals at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
He won the silver in the men’s individual competition and bronze in the men’s doubles with partner Daryl Selby.
Willstrop’s book ‘Shot and a Ghost’ was shortlisted for the prestigious William Hill Sports book of the year, the first self-published book to do so in 25 years and he was also shortlisted for Best New Writer of the Year.
Now the school, under the guidance of deputy head (pastoral) Guy Emmett, a former county cricketer, is keen to improve the school’s sporting aspirations, with squash leading the way.
The school is joining forces with the renowned Pontefract Squash Club where James Willstrop still plays and practises.
In September new pupils will include English Under 13 champion and number one Sam Todd, still only 11 years old and England’s best prospect for many years and Harry Anderson, a high class junior, who is leaving Scarborough College to be at Ackworth
Former world number one Lee Beachill’s promising son Ben is also enrolling at the school.
Links have already been established between the school and Pontefract Squash Club, which should be of benefit to both. Through squash it is intended to raise the school’s sporting profile in keeping with their first class facilities.