US Squash is proud to join the country in celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Narelle Krizek will step in from her previous role in the development of the Specter Center to become the Director of Women and Girls Squash. Narelle has spent her life in squash spanning every aspect of the sport having captained the world junior championship team for Australia, achieved a ranking of world No. 23 on the singles professional tour and world No. 1 in doubles, and founded the highly successful Women’s Squash Doubles Association pro tour. Narelle has also developed and led all types of junior and adult programs, always with an understanding of how to make the game fun and a lasting passion for girls and women.
“Intentional focus and deep engagement from the community and training our current coaches and pros on how to interest women and girls will take us a long way,” Krizek said. “As we launch our Women & Girls Initiative we’ll also bring in a whole new generation of female coaches who will transform the landscape of squash by attracting girls to this great lifelong sport.”
Krizek also expressed gratitude for those already serving as role models at the top of the women’s pro tour, noting: “All four women of Team USA are ranked inside the world’s top 25! Amanda Sobhy (4), Olivia Fiechter (11), Olivia Clyne (12) and Sabrina Sobhy (24). With Marina Stefanoni winning gold at the Junior Pan Am Games—without losing a single game—the future looks very bright and inspiring!”
Women & Girls and Community – Key Elements of US Squash’s future
Hand-in-hand with the Women & Girls Initiative is the work US Squash is doing to expand community squash. At the Arlen Specter US Squash Center, this work is led by Sakora Miller, Senior Manager of Community Squash.
“We can and we will do more to advance equity by opening up access to squash through the Community Initiative,” said Miller, who has already done amazing work launching the Philadelphia School District competitive squash league and introducing squash to children at neighboring community centers and The Boys and Girls Club. The kids have been loving the clinics they’ve been taking with Chris Sachvie and rest of the Specter Center professional staff.
“It starts with access to squash, which creates opportunities for everyone involved, and access starts in our own home, the Specter Center,” said Miller. “We’re already closely allied with ten facilities around the country that share these values through the Community Affiliate Network and are dramatically increasing opportunities for people to learn and play squash regardless of background or means. We are doing the work to build a welcoming and integrated community under one roof.”
“Inclusive participation, representation and leadership is essential to the sport’s growth and future success,” said Soo Venkatesan, Board Chair of US Squash. “We are grateful for the many changemakers across the country who have pioneered access and equity in our sport and are excited to lift these stories. We have a long road to accomplish our goals still, and are fortunate to have Narelle and Sakora—two experienced leaders in the sport—drive our initiatives focused on women and girls to the next level with the community’s support.”
With the involvement, support and continuity provided by Kim Clearkin, who has serves as US Squash’s Senior Vice President of Programs and Events, US Squash is well-positioned to achieve its goal: full parity in participation across the squash community, driven by a diverse group of women coaches, facility owners and administrators. Let’s reach this goal together.
Save the Date, May 21-22, for the US Squash Women & Girls Summit.
Learn more about the US Squash Women & Girls Initiative here:
Learn more about National Girls & Women in Sports Day here: https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/get-involved/ngwsd/.