The seventeenth-annual World Squash Day was celebrated in style at the 2018 FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships.
The finals of the men’s and women’s draws at the United States Open and the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony were the centerpieces of an exciting day at Drexel’s Daskalaskis Athletic Center. In light of the global nature of World Squash Day, Raneem El Welily and Mohamed ElShorbagy won the Open and two American players—Anil Nayar, originally from India, and Carol Thesieres, originally from Pennsylvania, were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Downstairs on the Kline & Specter Courts the 2018 U.S. Skills Levels Championship was in full swing. On World Squash Day 133 matches were played. The Skill Levels features 127 players competed in eleven divisions ranging from 3.0 to 6.0. US Squash introduced the ratings system in the mid-1990s and has hosted the national championship since 1996.
Thus, thousands of people at Drexel had the chance to play squash, reunion with friends courtside and watch world-class squash.
World Squash Day was on the forefront around the U.S. It was a busy day for young players. The largest squash tournament in the history of Texas, a junior gold event with 181 players, is being held this weekend in Houston. In total there are two junior bronzes (in San Diego and Stamford, CT); two junior silvers (in Baltimore and New Jersey); and two junior golds (in Hanover, NH and Houston). In total, 508 kids played at least two matches on World Squash Day.
WSD was originally launched in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks in the U.S. Derek Sword, an avid twenty-nine year old squash player from Scotland who played at the New York Athletic Club, worked as an equity sales analyst on the 89th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. He had just gotten engaged ten days before. To honor him, a group of New York and British friends hosted a memorial match in London in January 2002 which led to the creation of World Squash Day.
Each year since 2002, WSD events have taken place across the globe—exhibitions, clinics, publicity stunts, tournaments—that expose the game to many new people and sustain and deepen a love of the game for those already involved.