The first US Women’s Squash Week was a huge success with over 400 women of all ages and skill levels participating across 15 cities this past September. Social, round robins were held in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Connecticut, Denver, Houston, Minnesota, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland ME, San Francisco and Seattle. Washington DC’s event was unfortunately postponed due to a water main break at the host club just hours before the event but has been rescheduled for October 10th.
The regional events were an easy way for players to get back on the court, some after just a summer off, and others after many years. Katie Siegel who ran the Minnesota event had, “women email [her] who haven’t been on the court in years but were encouraged by this event to get back out there.”
Participants played singles, doubles, queen of the court and “monkey doubles” which Boston’s Sue Green explains as “4 on a court with 1 racket per team; after 1 player strikes ball, hands racket to partner to play the next shot. It was a hit – even Amanda Sobhy played a game!” There was also the opportunity for new women to try the sport with pros at many events offering beginners’ instruction.
US Squash provided event shirts for everyone, which were a big hit. Players loved them so much that San Fransisco’s Kim Clearkin reports: “one of our teams who played in the South West open in Phoenix, all played in the shirt.”
As a great kick off to the season, Women’s Squash Week hopes to encourage a boost in women’s participation and help to retaining their interest by focusing on the social aspects. Players have already used the event to plan weekly round robins, Howe cup teams and league teams over the next coming months. Get ready to see many more women on court this year!