As a company 2017 has been a favourite year for us for obvious reasons and there is no doubt to many Squash fans, players and promoters – this year has been a great year for the sport in well over a decade; but simply for us our favourite moments were:
1) Squash star donates prize money to help treat a young boy’s brain tumour
In March, well before he announced his retirement, England male No.1 Nick Matthew gave his winnings from the Canary Wharf Classic, in London to the parents of Sumner Malik, an 11-year-old squash fan to pay a month for private treatment. Gestures like this show how great he is and worthy of new years honour by the Queen.
2) Husband and wife win the 2017 U.S. Squash Open
In a surprising turn of events, squash pros Ali Farag and wife Nour El Tayeb, became the first ever couple to win a major sports tournament on the same weekend – the 2017 U.S. Open titles. This kind of moment shows that couples can win and reap the rewards of playing Squash.
3) Rugby club submits plans for new squash academy
In a unique grassroots sports development initiative, Scarborough Rugby Union Football Club submitted plans to Scarborough Borough Council to develop a state-of-the-art Squash and Racquets Academy – as a result, the local authority approved the plans, thus more squash courts for the next generation.
4) Jamaica make World Squash debut
Jamaica’s leading men’s players – Chris Binnie, Lewis Walters, Bruce Burrowes and Tahjia Lumley raised the profile of the Jamaican Squash team at the Men’s World Squash tournament in France, despite finishing third in their group – this bodes well as the country will soon become a force to reckon with in future tournaments.
5) Squash Club raises money for victims of Hurricane Irma
Now as many people know the worst natural disaster of 2017 was hurricanes in the Caribbean, the South Sound Squash Club held fundraisers in the form of exhibition matches to aid in the repair of squash courts in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Many more to mention
There were more Squash milestones, we can talk about, but these ones as selected by us were the cornerstone of boosting awareness of the sport at a professional level, which will cascade to increase participation at a grassroots level.
For us, securing a partnership with our long-term friends Sprintz Leisure Ltd was a highlight and plans are in motion with them for 2018.
The outlook for 2018
2018 could see a few more crucial milestones for Squash, not only will the sport be a part of the Youth Olympics, but the announcement on whether the sport will feature in the 2024 Olympics Games.
In addition, the Junior Squash Open Championship, held in Birmingham – could mean that the capital of the West Midlands could be the new home of Squash.
To sum up, many fans can expect more positive coverage throughout 2018 – especially with support for the grassroots developments and more tournaments.