In May 2019, US Squash and the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead, MA will conclude a one-year pilot program in which a US Squash teaching professional, trained in program management and officially certified as a Level 1 Coach, worked within the YMCA’s activity structure to drive participation and member engagement in squash.
The teaching professional Affeeq Ismail—a recent graduate of Trinity College—worked to implement new programs for adult and junior members in both singles and doubles, including box leagues, round robins, team training sessions for the local district league team, and a focus on women’s programming that saw steady growth. Software management of reservations and all organized play was shifted to the Club Locker technology platform, improving access to programs and member experience.
Over the course of the season, the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA squash community saw increased participation and revenue growth to the highest levels in program history. The annual Raise-a-Racquet charity event, featuring an exhibition match between Ismail and fellow Trinity team member Omar Allaudin, raised over $35,000 for YMCA programs.
The pilot program is part of a broader effort by US Squash to assist in the creation of a pipeline of qualified, well-trained teaching professionals across the country in service of its mission to deliver meaningful lifelong positive engagement in squash. Learnings from the pilot program will be applied to other initiatives in professional development and programs to be spearheaded at the Arlen Specter US Squash Center.
“We are grateful for the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA’s partnership in this pilot and are pleased with the growth seen in their squash community over the past year,” said Adam Hamill, US Squash Director of Professional Development. “Working with a trusted organization like the YMCA helps us take our programs to the next level, and we look forward to applying the take-aways from this program to other access initiatives nationwide.”