The final round of grants of the PSA Foundation’s We Are One Fund has been paid out, completing a two-year fundraising process that saw $160,000USD raised to support squash players during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The We Are One Fund was set up in 2020 to support the players of the PSA Tour whose livelihoods and basic wellbeing had been adversely affected by the pandemic. Over the last two years, hundreds of grants have been made to support players from over 30 countries, of various rankings, who were suffering from hardship due to the pandemic.
Explaining the impact of the We Are One Fund, Adriana Olaya, Head of the PSA Foundation said: “During the pandemic, with the vast majority of PSA matches cancelled and international travel severely restricted, many players found themselves without their primary form of income. The We Are One Fund has been a vital resource in ensuring that those players had support and financial security. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to the fund. It has done incredible things and is a true success story of people coming together to beat adversity. My team and I are proud to have been a part of this incredible work.”
Speaking in 2020 about the impact the fund had made to his life, World No.286 Joel Jaume Izcara said that the money raised would mean that he was able to return to the PSA tour when restrictions ended: “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 four 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 participated in this initiative.”
Since receiving support from the We Are One fund, Izcara has gone on to compete in tournaments in Spain, Portugal, Andorra and France, and reached the semi final of the Costa Del Sol Open in December 2020.
2021 saw the gradual easing of restrictions, with more PSA events slowly returning at all levels. However, we still haven’t seen the end of the pandemic, which continues to impact the financial and mental wellbeing of a number of players.
For this reason, the PSA Foundation, through the We Are One fund, will maintain support for players facing these hardships and will continue fundraising activities to provide grants for players in need.
In Behind the Glass II, a glimpse into the life players faced on Tour during the pandemic in 2021 is beautifully reflected in an exclusive photo book from PSA Photographer Nathan Clarke. All proceeds from Behind the Glass II will continue to support the fund.