International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
The PSA Foundation are proud to champion women and girls of all levels in squash, a core part of our work is empowering them to get involved and increasing opportunities:
Women In Coaching Fund
Over the past decade, the J.P. Morgan Women’s Leadership Award and Reception has created a lasting legacy for women and girls in the game, driving change in the sport and inspiring many to take up squash at all levels.
This year’s reception supported the PSA Foundation Women in Coaching Fund, which will launch in 2023 as a legacy of the Tournament of Champions. The aim being to encourage more women to participate in the game at a coaching and mentoring level.
The fund will provide women and girls with funding to earn key qualifications to pursue a career in coaching and give them a platform to inspire other women and girls to play squash.
The first women’s only coaching course will take place in conjunction with US Squash on May 7th.
PSA Foundation recently launched their Talking All Things Women piece as part of the #SayPeriod campaign, to address the stigma surrounding periods.
Professional Squash Players Mary Fung-A-Fat, Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Clyne discussed the sometimes unknown, challenges that women players face on tour.
This includes the difficulties of accessing basic period products in some countries on the PSA Tour, what can be done to support women athletes more effectively, the negative emphasis on body image and more within the sport.
Set up by BBC Sport, the #SayPeriod campaign wants to stop using euphemisms to describe periods, saying it can perpetuate stigmas and stop people discussing the issue.
Stories From The Women's Tour
Throughout our content, we ensure women’s voices and perspectives are heard, so that everyone feels like they have someone from the Tour to look up to and aspire to be like. Our More Than Just A Ranking campaign interviews players about their personal stories and journey as a squash player, as well as any topics or challenges they want to talk about beyond squash.
Sivasangari Subramaniam for example spoke with us about her courage and resilience to recover from of a career threatening injury, and the process of coming back to the tour.
The Azman sisters spoke about their ambitions on the PSA Tour.
Many of our Health and Wellness Ambassadors are also women, being key ambassadors for the mental health of players on Tour. We have interviewed a number of female players, including Amanda Sobhy, who opened up about her struggles with an eating disorder.
Other squash federations are also actively getting involved with International Women’s day, highlighting the importance of having more women participate in our sport:
England Squash’s “Rally Together” plays a key role in encouraging and promoting women’s participation in Squash at all levels.
While a lot of progress has been made for women and girls in sport, bias still exists, making it difficult for female players and coaches to succeed.
In order to drive change, we need male allies to be part of the conversation too, who consider women’s lived experiences and respect that it’s not just a woman’s responsibility to change the environment that creates barriers.
Jo Rowbottom, Head of Partnerships and Communities at England Squash, said:
“By ‘Rallying Together’ we can ensure we create environments that are open and welcoming for more women and girls and create more opportunities for women and girls to thrive in squash.”
US Squash will once again be hosting their “Bring A Buddy” programme, which introduces more women and girls to the sport Tuesday, March 8
“We are so encouraged by the participation and enthusiasm we saw around the country for the first ‘bring a buddy’ day,” said Narelle Krizek, US Squash Director of Women & Girls Squash.
“It’s essential for the growth and diversity of the game that we continue to introduce regular programming to bring new women and girls into the game, and retain their interest and love for a life sport.”