Maria Toorpakai will be awarded the President’s Cup at Women in Sports Day at the 2016 Delaware Investments United States Open. The third-annual Women in Sports Day will be on Wednesday, October 12 at Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center.
Toorpakai, age twenty-five, is ranked world No. 61 and has won seven PSA tour events, including the Liberty Bell Open in Philadelphia and the Southwest Open in Tempe, Arizona. Her incredibly harrowing, powerful and ultimately inspiring life story is now well-known around the world. Toorpakai grew up in Waziristan, Pakistan and defied Islamic fundamentalists in order to play squash. She came in third at the 2009 World Juniors. This past spring, her memoir, A Different Kind of Daughter, was published to great acclaim, and Toorpakai appeared on numerous radio and television shows and in newspapers and magazines. Toorpakai also spoke at conferences in London and New York, including the United Nations’ Women’s International Forum 2016. Next month the Toronto International Film Festival is screening the world premiere of a major, eighty-minute documentary about Toorpakai. Now titled Girl Unbound, it is the product of five years of filming in Toronto, where she is based, and Pakistan.
The President’s Cup is the highest individual award at US Squash. Inaugurated in 1966, the award is given to men and women who have made substantial contributions of the game of squash. Toorpakai is the forty-fifth recipient of the President’s Cup and the second, after Hashim Khan in 1978, to hail from Pakistan.