The PSA Foundation have been working hard during this period to ensure that players and the community programmes they support are given all the support they need during this difficult period.
“It’s been great to have the PSA foundation support us players throughout lockdown with so many online courses to sign up to,” said Scotland’s World No.22 Greg Lobban.
“During the season it can be difficult to find the time but all of the seminars that I’ve attended have been tailored specifically to athletes and I definitely feel like I’ve learned something and broadened my knowledge in a subject that can either help me during or post career.
“I’m looking forward to returning to the Tour soon but I’m glad I can look back on this time and know that I spent my time wisely and bettered myself away from the squash court which is largely due to the Motivation Monday emails and the online courses that you have organised and provided us with.”
Take a look below to see the ways in which we have been helping support players:
The ‘We Are One’ fund is a player-driven initiative which aims to bring the global squash community together to provide relief to the players that need urgent financial support following the COVID-19 pandemic and suspension of the PSA Tour.
Inspired by the generosity of our squash community, the PSA Foundation and the PSA created the “We are One” fund, providing relief to those players whose basic well-being and possibility of returning to the tour are directly threatened.
Over $60,000 has already been distributed to players around the world.
The players awarded the grant are overjoyed by the opportunity to secure their health and well-being, allowing them to continue the pursuit of their squash career. Some of their comments follow below:
“These funds have helped me to come back home. Most importantly, it has given me hope to continue training. I am very thankful to anyone who has contributed to this initiative. These are harsh times and solidarity is hard to find. I am sure your donations have eased pain. Rest assured that I am giving my 100 percent in order for me to display my best level of squash once we get back.” World No. 188 Miled Zarazua from Mexico.
“It really helped me trying to stay positive and motivated to train during these past months. It’s really hard to keep the head up when we struggle financially, so all the help we can get is welcomed at the moment.” World No. 73 Rui Soares from Portugal.
“I have to thank the PSA for the initiative and specially the donors because of their generosity. My income mainly comes from coaching and it’s been 4 hard months. Summer is also a bad season for coaching and this summer even worse, so this money will help me so much to keep playing when the tour resumes and to keep training where I need. Again, Thank you very much to everyone who have participated in this initiative.” World No. 222 Joel Jaume Izcara.
Since the lockdown started and the suspension of the PSA Tour, we have introduced our partnership with mental health support providers Sporting Chance.
We knew one of the biggest priorities for the athletes of the PSA Tour during these difficult times would be maintaining strong mental health and wellbeing.
We have since started working with Sporting Chance and the players of the PSA Tour to make sure the necessary opportunities for support are available. You can read more on our partnership with Sporting Chance here.
Let’s Talk Series
The Let’s Talk series are webinar sessions with the players of the PSA Tour and various industry professionals. They are in place to upskill the players in matters that both make their squash careers more sustainable and also prepare them for life after squash. Such classes so far have included:
- Sporting Chance on;
Mental and Emotional Health in Sports
- PSA Lead Physiotherapist Derek Ryan on;
Training during lock-down and preparing for post quarantine
- Dana Sinclair on;
Performance Psychology and Managing Emotions Under Stress
- Anna Guelzim on;
Marketing Your Brand & Growing Sponsorship’s In COVID19
- Rory Gillen on;
Investing and Saving 101
- Chris Nadherny on;
Career Planning in the Midst of Chaos
- Nick Matthew on;
Motivation, training and anxiety during lock-down
”The emails and guest sessions are really useful with lots of relevant info and links,” said one player who had taken part in the Zoom calls.
“I particularly enjoyed Alex and Nick’s talk [Sporting Chance] and for me I thought is was one of the best one’s yet.”
Every Monday, we reach out to all players on the PSA Tour to offer an opportunity for players to voice difficulties they are facing and also to push opportunities to support their current circumstances.
Other content has included online courses, mental health support and ideas from other players facing similar challenges.
“The Motivation Monday emails are great. So many free courses and opportunities relevant to athletes that we don’t normally have time to think about.
“I completed the nutrition course and the marketing and sponsorship workshop actually landed me a sponsorship in product that I wasn’t aware I could land being an ambassador.
“For us as athletes, keeping our minds busy when we can’t play squash is crucial. These emails and the online talks have helped us find a purpose during lockdown and has given us motivation to get back on tour with a new perspective on our careers.”
The lockdown also presented an opportunity to develop our partnership with SquashSkills, who have launched a free and fully tailored webpage for PSA Tour players to access appropriate home workouts. Additionally, they have given players of the PSA Tour 3 months free access to all their routines, workouts and sessions.
This support has been significant for the players who have been limited to the confinements of their own homes and separated from their usual coaches and support teams.
Community Programmes We Support
We’ve united all our partner community squash programmes from across the globe into a support network and ideas hub. This has allowed each programme to share ideas and initiatives with each other to support the survival of their programmes and support the families in need locally through vital food drives.
We used this platform to distribute activities and resources to the juniors of the programmes while stuck indoors. We’ve also launched a new weekly spotlight campaign that will shine a light on the fantastic work these programmes do. Check out our recent edition staring Squash Dreamers from Jordan here.
Players have been getting involved too, we hosted a live webinar with World No. 9 Miguel Rodriguez and the juniors of Squash Urbano and Squash Para Todos. Check this out here.
We also partnered up with World No.239 and Pakistan’s Noorena Shams who has gone above and beyond with inspired efforts to support families in need in her local communities. Read more here.
PSA Foundation in Their Local Community
Through the PSA Foundation’s partnership with Rackets Cubed, a community based squash programme had been created in Leeds (UK) between Chapel Allerton Squash Club and Hovingham Primary School. During the lockdown, the staff of the PSA Foundation have been taking part in delivering the donations of a food drive, created to ensure the children from this undeserved community has access to food during these difficult times.
We are very grateful to all our supporters and partners who have come together to support each other during these challenging times. It is great to reflect on what we can achieve when we combine our efforts.