US Squash proudly announces the inauguration of a brand-new honor at the 2014 Delaware Investments U.S. Open Character in Sports Day: the Men’s Sportsmanship Award. Intended to focus attention on the best examples of sportsmanship in the American squash community, this honor will balance the Feron’s Wedgwood Sportsmanship Trophy, annually given out to a deserving woman since 1979. Throughout our history, squash has celebrated courtesy, fair play, graciousness and an abiding sense of respect and fellowship with opponents. US Squash now have an award that crystallizes that core value not only for women but also for men.
The first recipient is Edmund R. Chilton. A southpaw with a Dan Marino-like quick-release reverse corner, Ed Chilton is a many-time national masters doubles champion: he has won the men’s 40+ and 45+ (with Andrew Slater), two mixed 40+ (with Joyce Davenport and Demer Holleran), a World Doubles 30+ (with Kevin Jernigan) and a Century Doubles A (with his brother Court). Chilton first picked up squash as a senior at Avon Old Farms, but played tennis at Roanoke College. A part-time racquetball pro in Washington, DC, Chilton landed a squash job at the old Capitol Hill Squash & Fitness Club in 1987. In April 1991 he became the head squash professional at the Wilmington Country Club, where he has been ever since (he also coaches tennis there and sometimes platform tennis).
Ed Chilton is the perfect example of how squash can encourage sportsmanship. “I wasn’t the best behaved player as a teenager,” he says, “but as I matured I learned that the only way to be a great champion is to be act like one. Squash taught me sportsmanship.”
Chilton is not only an exemplary sport on the court but he is also a national leader off the court. Since 1991 he has directed the National Junior Doubles at WCC, the country’s sole annual doubles event for juniors and a flagship tournament that has introduced the game to hundreds of current players. He has also founded the Delaware State district, directed numerous singles and doubles events, mentored numerous top-ranked juniors and has for two decades run the U.S. Pro, the annual men’s doubles tournament at WCC, one of the top stops on the pro tour. In 2012 he ran the inaugural U.S. Open Doubles.U.S. Open Character in Sports Day