Envisioning Our Future
We envision a 21st Century for squash that looks very different from the past. This is what we see….
- Kids in cities across the country are aware of squash and able to get introduced to the sport through a network of Community Squash centers, offering affordable programming to the public. At these US Squash Community Affiliates, families from across the socio-economic spectrum occupy the same space and participate in programming that brings people of different backgrounds together, enriching the entire community.
- Those in the middle of the socio-economic extremes are part of the strength of the programming and squash community, and the kids from the earliest days of the squash and education programs are continuing to play squash and benefit from being part of the community as adults and introducing their own kids to the sport for life.
- Women occupy nearly half the dramatically increased number of program director, teaching pro and coaching roles across the country, at community squash centers, schools and clubs. From the youngest age all the way through, girls participate in equal numbers to boys. Many play simply for fun and exercise, and the social benefits of the sport, buttressed by the significant increase in public middle school squash programming available at new community squash centers.
- Having achieved 50-100 public squash teams in each, several states have approved squash as a high school varsity sport, releasing millions of dollars in public funding to support the organizing, operating, coaching, competition and camaraderie involved in team squash. The national High School Team Championships has grown so large that Regional Championships are offered across the country and include thousands more kids in the team experience. Public middle and high schools in the Southeast, South and West are beginning to build directly adjacent low-cost outdoor, covered squash courts, dramatically increasing exposure to the sport.
- College athletic departments understand the value of the squash scholar-athlete to their programs and are advocates for the sport in their institutions and with others as new collegiate programs begin to fill in leagues in the Southeast, Midwest and on the West Coast. The NCAA is actively monitoring squash as an emerging sport and anticipates considering squash’s inclusion as a full varsity sport, while the College Squash Association continues to support league competition and drive growth among club programs and intramural activity at 200 colleges and universities nationally.
- Juniors from Community Affiliates receive visits from the US Squash National coaching staff and have fully funded regular opportunities to train together at the Specter Center. Access to the best coaching and opportunities to train and compete for the most motivated and talented is provided on a need-blind basis, resulting in U.S. athletes achieving record world rankings individually and as Team USA. Their sights are now set on the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
- Due to innovations in court building technology to reduce the cost and increase durability, as well as direct outreach to municipalities, outdoor courts are increasingly common across the country in local parks, dramatically increasing access to and awareness of squash and entirely reshaping people’s perceptions of the sport. The economics of squash are turning positive.