The fourth-annual Women in Sports Day at the 2017 United States Open presented by Macquarie Investment Management was highlighted with a special court-side reception. Co-chaired by Ashley Bernhard and Katharine Joyce, Women in Sports Day honors the achievements of women squash leaders and promotes equality and opportunity. Proceeds of Women in Sports Day benefited US Squash’s Women’s Fund, helping build women’s squash programming in emerging and new markets across the country.
Dent Wilkens, the Senior Vice President of Operations at US Squash, welcomed the many guests to the reception. Emery Maine Greenwood, the assistant squash coach at Penn, awarded her former squash coach, Gail Ramsay, with the 2017 Achievement Bowl.
Ramsay is a four-time national intercollegiate champion, Team USA captain, national doubles champion and for the past thirty years a college squash coach. Since 1994 she has led the Princeton women’s team, capturing five national team titles. A member of the College Squash Hall of Fame, Ramsay is the former president of the College Squash Association.
Ramsay gave heart-felt thanks to her mentors, fellow women leaders, her family and friends from the Cynwyd Club, Penn State, Heights Casino, Williams and Princeton She spoke about the importance of good sportsmanship, integrity and accountability. She quoted Althea Gibson’s great line: “No one achieves anything alone.”
The Achievement Bowl is US Squash’s oldest award. It is given out annually to a woman who has made notable and profound contributions to the advancement of squash.
Ashley Bernhard, the deputy chair of the PSA, spoke about the incredible results of the merger of the men’s and women’s pro tours: prize money is up 38%, revenue is up 68% and social media metrics are up 258%.
She then introduced Dr. Deborah Antoine, the keynote speaker at Women in Sports Day. Antoine is the CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. The WSF was founded by Billie Jean King in 1974 and is one of America’s most important institutions dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring all girls have access to sports. Antoine spoke about the importance of getting girls of the sidelines and into sports.
Antoine introduced Jenny Duncalf, who received the Women in Sports Day Special Recognition Award. Duncalf, the world No. 30 from England, has been the president of the PSA women’s division since the historic merger of the men’s and women’s tour nearly three years ago.
Duncalf spoke about the legacy of prize-money parity and the many resulting benefits to the pro tour and the game overall.
Previous honorees at Women in Sports Day at the U.S. Open include Kasey Brown, the former world No. 5 and pro tour President; Anne Farrell, the longest-serving US Squash employee in history; Alicia McConnell, the former world No. 14 and USOC leader; and last year Maria Toorpakai, the Pakistani squash player and women’s rights advocate.