Ladies Squash finally has its recognition alongside the men’s game, because of a number of developments and campaigns to get women into the sport.
Oddly enough, women’s Squash did not receive its true professional recognition until 1983, with the launch of the Women’s International Squash Players Association, which later became the Women’s Squash Association in 2012.
Following a merger in November 2014, between the Women’s Squash Association and the Professional Squash Association, lead to the governing body managing both the men and women’s Squash rankings in January 2015.
This meant female Squash players would compete for the same amount as prize money and recognition like the male Squash colleagues.
Cultural diversity of Ladies Squash
On this day of International Women’s Day, in our humble opinion, there are 15 women, who have been the main force behind this change in opinion of the women’s category of the sport (in no particular order):
Heather McKay (Australia) – the first female Squash world champion in 1976 and winner of the British Open Championship 16 times (1962-1977).
Liz Irving (Australia) – a four-time winner Women’s World Team Championships, not forgetting the being Squash coach to Nicol David and inventor of the Squash Labs coaching app.
Nicol David (Malaysia) – burst onto the Squash scene aged 17 and was ranked in top 10 ladies category for 150 months, thus breaking the record of Pete Nicol and also held no.1 ranking for 112 months.
Karen Anderson (Jamaica) – she made history by rising up female from Jamaica to rise up the PSA rankings in less than year in joining. Still playing in local tournaments, she both a board member of the Jamaican Squash Association and mentor to the current generation of Jamaican Squash players.
Christina Rees (Wales) – Welsh national squash champion, and she represented Wales over 100 times. Not only is she is a qualified barrister and a Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, she has also been a development coach for the Welsh Squash & Racketball Association.
Maria Toorpakai Wazir (Pakistan) – became the first tribal Pakistani girl in international squash tournaments. Turned professional in 2006, she became the first tribal Pakistani girl in international squash tournaments. A year later, the President of Pakistan bestowed the Salaam Pakistan Award upon her recognising her accomplishments in Squash and being a trailblazer for ladies Squash in the country.
Marlene West (Jamaica) – first female squash from Jamaica to enter the Professional Squash Association circuit and ranked as high 71 back in the late 2000s
Amanda Sobhy (American) – first US Squash player to win the World Squash Junior Championship, and winner of 3 Gold medals at the Pan American Games (Singles, Doubles and Teams).
Nour El Sherbini (Egyptian) – picked a Squash racquet at the age of six, she has gone win titles at both junior and senior level tournaments, notably the British Open and World Open.
Cassie Jackman (England) – winner of five British under-23 titles, and five senior British national titles
Legacy for women of all cultures
In conclusion, we could have mentioned other great female Squash players in this list. Following a review, we narrowed it down to 10, but on this day of International Women’s Day, a special mention to these great who are an inspiration to us.
Nevertheless, the likes of Nicol David, Karen Anderson and Heather McKay, have not only paved the way for their respective compatriots but for young women from other countries.