Why I quit my job to unite the world in motion: Active Evening presenter StreetRacket
The MOVE Congress Active Evening on 18 November invited sport for all and recreational physical activity innovators to get our conference participants moving with an offer to try out their equipment, games – and even circus tricks! One of them was Street Racket, a multi award-winning game that is being showcased around the world as an accessible alternative to tennis.
Street Racket creator, founder and director Marcel Straub from Switzerland presented his innovative concept during the Active Evening and also stepped up onto the main stage to host active break sessions. He tells us more about the initiative.
I am a father of four and quit my previous well paid and secure job in sports development for the City of Zurich to follow my dream and passion to unite the world in motion. As the founders of Street Racket, we follow a sustainable approach at the grassroots level to promote multiple positive experiences through fun, social and active play: Sports, health, education, empowerment, community, integration, inclusion and competence in movement all have a high preventive aspect in terms of reducing the risk of injury and cardiovascular disease.
Plus, Street Racket is praised as one of the most effective instruments to reduce the increasing problem of myopia/short-sightedness, which is caused mainly by too much screen time and the eyes being fixed to only one point of reference. Street Racket offers a very rhythmic and frequent chance of perspective from near to far seeing and thus an ideal form of eye training, even if only played for a few minutes.
Street Racket is based on a unique but simple set of rules and a court system consisting only of squares, with a strong focus on long rallies. No infrastructure, no maintenance, no barriers! Street Racket can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime and by anyone. Just draw your own court and move. Street Racket creates happy and active places where people can come together in safe, controlled and versatile play. It brings sport to the people, the people don’t need to get to the sport – this is perfectly aligned with one of the global mega-trends in sports and leisure. The backyard, the school ground, the workplace, the parking lot, the cul-de-sac, the quiet streets – and at no cost!
With more than 600 variations for all age groups and playing levels, Street Racket moves more than 150,000 people every day – and the numbers are growing fast. 80 countries have already taken up the Street Racket movement in sports organisations, federations, schools, universities, shelters, refugee camps, prisons and companies.
In 2021, Street Racket was selected by the www.hundred.org collection as one of the most impactful, innovative, sustainable and scalable educational concepts of the world.
I have travelled the world with my ideas, have become an international speaker and have worked with the Red Cross and land mine victims in Cambodia. I have played Street Racket with hundreds of kids with disabilities in Ethiopia, led missions to bring donated equipment, along with fun-filled workshops, to refugee shelters in Serbia, brought together inmates and wardens in high security prisons with high praise from the directors, helped set up local productions of the original equipment in developing countries to generate income, certified official coaches around the world (train the trainer) so they can promote the game and earn money with their new qualifications. The list goes on… Ideally, the whole world will soon play Street Racket!
In Switzerland, the home of Street Racket, there are already more than 4000 permanent courts (outdoors and indoors) for the public to enjoy. They are located in leisure centres, parks, multiplex sports arenas and, above all, schoolyards and public places.
Our free official Street Racket App, with 100 games, is available in many languages, introducing people to a healthy activity and to this fascinating world. The innovative and user friendly online curriculum for activities and learning in movement can help any organisation to engage with the concept and the teaching books and social media channels offer additional help and content.