We are focused on making sure squash players, no matter the ranking, have somewhere to go if they are in need. We have spent time and resources providing talks and sessions revolving around health, wellbeing, the sustainability of squash careers and making players aware of their opportunities during and after their squash career.
During 2020 in response to the COVID-19 global crisis that had pitched many players into unexpected emotional and financial difficulties, we launched the ‘We Are One’ Player Hardship Fund. As well as ensuring all professional players make a return to Tour following it’s postponement, the ‘We Are One’ Fund will continue afterwards as an ongoing PSA Tour player hardship fund.
In 2018 we launched Squash University, a series of workshops led by leading names in business at tournaments worldwide. We’ve progressed this by connecting players with mentors and offering additional advice to interested athletes. We also launched SquashFORWARD, a joint initiative with the World Squash Federation which saw a panel of juniors from all over the world come together and help shape the future of the game
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.
“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.
Squash University is designed to provide players with the tools they need to maximise the opportunities that come up during playing years and to help plan and prepare for life after squash.
The programme has brought together a variety of influential business leaders – including marketeers, investment bankers, corporate CEOs and more – to enable players to openly explore the business world and gather experience that will help them make the transition from professional athlete to their post-squash career.
We’ve received positive feedback from SU events with former World No.9 Daryl Selby going on to create his own sports managements and events agency, Dynamic7. The England player said attending the Post-Squash Career Day gave him the encouragement he needed to pursue his venture.
SquashFORWARD’s main goal is to engage with the next generation of squash players in order to unite traditional values with new ideas. This will means we’ll have a more rounded idea of what the future of the sport should be.
The initiative is directed to make the sport more innovative, inclusive and sustainable and by involving promising young talent, we’ll be able to inspire the future leaders of the sport.
Co-chaired by three-time World Champion Nour El Sherbini and World No.8 Diego Elias, SquashFORWARD includes France’s Victor Crouin, Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng, United States’ Marina Stefanoni, Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann, Japan’s Satomi Watanabe and Ukraine’s Nadiia Usenko.
The team has produced a list of ideas to transform the sport, collective bodies are working together to bring these suggestions to life.