Neal Tew was honored with the 2016 United States Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year Award during the US Squash Junior Awards Dinner in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Tew has served the Cincinatti, Ohio, squash community for the past decade. In 2000, Tew began plotting a new facility focused on imparting life lessons to children through the experience of competitive squash. In 2012, Tew’s dream was realized by founding the five-court T Squash Academy, the largest squash facility in the state at the time. The T Squash Academy program has grown to more than 100 players over the past five years.
Before presenting Tew with the award, US Squash President & CEO lauded Tew’s local impact on the organization’s national goals: facilitating lifelong, positive engagement in squash, increasing the number of squash courts nationwide and building a community known for character and sportsmanship.
“I can’t think of anyone better suited to recognize than Neal Tew as someone who has moved us closer to achieving all of our goals,” Klipstein said. “In founding The T Squash Academy, Neal had a vision, he led with this vision in mind, and he followed through, and now, five years after its founding, the T Squash Academy is an example of integrity, inclusiveness and innovation, and is the kind of example we need to follow to move the sport forward.”
After accepting the award, Tew addressed the more than 350 players, parents and coaches in attendance, many of whom traveled to the T Squash Academy last September to compete in the Mid-West JCT. Tew thanked former and current staff members of the T Squash Academy, and his family members in attendance–his wife, Katie, his son, John Paul, and parents, John and Susan. Tew emphasized the importance of coaching and community in growing squash throughout the country.
“We need a squash ecosystem where community hangs in the air, swirling up and down, like Oxygen,” Tew said. “We need many things–we need to teach kids fundamentals from their first swings of the racquet, we need to teach the eloquence of movement and balance from day one. Yes, this and so many other things. But what I believe we need most of all is to build clubs where there are pyramids from which a community spirit cascades down from the top players, down to the middlers and to the rank beginners.”
The USOC Developmental Coach of the Year nominee is coach of a youth club, high school or junior-level coach, or a coach directly responsible for coaching athletes to the junior and/or elite level. US Squash annually selects a club teaching professional who works directly with players of all abilities, helping develop outstanding, life-long players and members of our community. The most recent winner was Bob Hanscom.