Club Spotlight: Hong Kong Football Club Squash Section

The Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) Squash Section has been a loyal supporter of the PSA Foundation over the years. From donating significant amounts of squash clothing and equipment to our ReBound initiative, hosting international PSA events, holding fundraisers and now donating another HK$50,000 to the ‘We Are One Fund’.

HKFC is a great example of a club that helps grow the sport through the PSA Foundation. We hope that by shining a light on the successes of HKFC Squash, we can inspire more clubs around the world to engage with the wider growth of squash. If you are ever visiting Hong Kong, we highly recommend visiting the HKFC Squash Section.

We caught up with Julian Ragless, Chairman of the squash committee, about the clubs successes, good deeds and what makes HKFC Squash special.

What inspired the club to donate HK$50,000 to the PSA Foundation’s We Are One Fund?

In Hong Kong we have been relatively lucky with Covid and lost only a few months of playing with closed facilities. Socially however, the restrictions meant that we were unable to party anywhere near as much or as hard as we normally do, so we ended our financial year with an unexpected surplus. We really missed seeing all of the pros in action and felt that this could be an hour of need for many of them. The donation to “We Are One” fund was proposed at our AGM, and it was unanimously agreed that it was right for us, the squash section within the HKFC, to give something back to the sport we love. We hope it makes a small difference and also that the pros feel solidarity and support from us regular amateurs.

How would you describe the HKFC Squash Section and what would you say sets the club apart from others?

Squash operates as one of five sports sections within the HKFC, and the first adjective would be “blessed”, as we have seven superb courts in a world class facility. Hardware aside, it is more the software that makes the real difference. Our 300 active members come from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds, all united in a passion for squash. We pack everything possible into squash. Internally, we run boxes, leagues and tournaments, and externally we have 35 teams in the Hong Kong leagues.

When not constrained by Covid, we host an annual PSA tournament, a HKFC Masters and a HKFC Juniors which attract participants from all corners of the earth. All of this comes from the drive and passion of our membership.

HKFC Squash over the years have donated many hundreds of items to our Rebound initiative, held fundraisers and hosted many international tournaments. What drives HKFC Squash to engage with the wider squash world so well?

Hong Kong brands itself as “Asia’s World City”, and that is true of HKFC Squash as well. Our international make-up gives us a very global perspective and outreach is in our DNA.

How important do you believe it is from a club perspective that squash is grown from the bottom up and engages with local communities?

For the long term sustainability of the game, grass roots are absolutely vital. Hong Kong actually gets this one right. Squash is a major sport here which has a firm grass roots foothold based through many excellent government facilities across the territory. That, together with government funding as an elite sport, has enabled Hong Kong to punch well above its weight at an international level.

Are there any other initiatives outside of supporting the PSA Foundation that HKFC Squash engages with?

Each year, the HKFC hosts the annual “Wing Ding” – a tournament which brings all of Hong Kong’s clubs together in one fiesta of different colours raising money for local charities. The tournament is named after Yuen Kam-wing, a much-loved disabled staff member at the Hong Kong Squash Centre who died in 1998. His spirit lives on, and collectively over the years many millions of HK dollars have been raised by the Hong Kong squash community.

Heard of our Rebound initiative before?
Rebound is an initiative where we collect old but usable squash gear. This is then channelled to charities dotted around the world that use squash and education to support children from underserved backgrounds. As well as redistributing squash equipment and clothing to where it is needed most, this also serves as a great recycling initiative. Find out more about Rebound here.

If your club would be interested in holding a collection drive for Rebound, a fundraiser or anything else in support of the PSA Foundation, please reach out to us at foundation@psaworldtour.com