Happy new year squashers!
What to say about 2020? Challenging would be understatement. We started off strong, building momentum off solid foundation set in 2019:
- First ever self-scheduling Illinois State Championships breaking all goals with record 234 sign ups across 16 draws!
- The University Club of Chicago hosted Windy City Open and 5th annual WCO Women’s Leadership luncheon & panel discussion on excellence regarding women in sport.
- Completed enough of the season’s Super League to crown the Blackhawks captained by Milan Kratka as 2019-20 champions. Consistent performances from Khurram Fazal (10 wins), Rolando Hernandez (8 wins) and Imran Nasir (6 wins) propelled the team to victory.
- LifeTime Vernon Hills, University Club of Chicago, and MetroSquash hosted several Gold, Silver, and Bronze JTS Tournament.
- Independent CPS team for the High School Chicagoland Squash Conference. The 2019-2020 High School League was formed by: LAB, LFA, LFHS,Metrosquash, LATIN, GEMS, BEACON and the newly formed Independent CPS team.
- The Final Chicagoland High School Conference tournament was taken/won by a very strong LAB team this season.
- Chicagoland Squash Conference High School league sent four teams to the Nationals Championship last weekend. First time three teams from the Chicago area that have attended. Teams at High School Nationals were: LAB, LFA, LATIN Girls and LATIN Boys Teams. Great to see for the first time four Chicagoland Conference represented by those many schools.
- University of Chicago once again came out on top against Northwestern University, in the second annual Tin Cup, held at the University Club of Chicago. Finishing the regular season ranked 38th and 47th respectively, both teams then had solid National Championships where they cemented those rankings. UChicago finished the season with a respectable 7 wins and 5 losses, while Northwestern enjoyed a final day victory over University of Michigan to end with a 5-9 record.
We then experienced a March lull with quarantine measures, but quickly adapted in April by offering virtual workouts every week with local and guest pros. We didn’t know what to expect at the outset, but the broader (worldwide many times!) squash community blew us away by the number of people who supported. Dozens of local professionals, PSA world tour stars, and hundreds of participants made this an incredible achievement for Illinois Squash.
We hosted over 25 sessions and raised nearly $65,000 for MetroSquash! Squash specific home workouts ranging from yoga to full body circuit training are available for free on Illinois Squash YouTube channel!
- We had our first class of summer interns, Kayland Jones and Peter Grissom. Kayland, a rising junior at Spelman College, was responsible for the marketing and design efforts behind the weekly workout series. She also worked on a brand building campaign for Illinois Squash. Peter, a rising first year at Indiana University, took on the challenge of video editing and building out the organization’s YouTube channel. We’d like to extend our gratitude for their hard work and dedication this summer in continuing to grow the organization.
- The 15th Anniversary MetroSquash Gala & Cup raised over $2,000,000! The virtual gala highlighted the growth, impact, and future of the program. Watch on-demand!
Lakeshore Athletics welcomes Moses Durosinmi to the squash program.
He has joined us as a squash instructor and program coordinator. Moses graduated from The University of Lagos, Nigeria with a degree in Human Kinetics and Health Education. He began playing squash in 2003 and quickly fell in love with the game. His biggest accomplishment as a player was being a #1 ranked junior player in Nigeria. Moses has been ranked #3 in Nigeria and as high as the top 300 players in the world. He was the head squash coach at Kings College in Lagos, Nigeria. Moses has been teaching for over 12 years and currently lives with his wife in Roselle Illinois.
Big thank you to all our members and supporters this past season. Thank you Tim Cox, Tom Kanyock, Aidan Harrison, Julie Monrad, Rich Jones & Ketan Patwardhan for your contributions to the Illinois Squash 2019-2020 board, as well as to Jack Bryant, Huy Doan, Alexandra Dodson, Emilie Kraft, Eigo Okada, Joanne Poon, Luis Sanchez, Franz Schwerer, and Phil Yarrow who will continue to serve on the board for 2021-2022. We’d also like to extend a warm welcome to Jack Krasaeath to the 2021-2022 team!
The Illinois Squash Board is a group of squash enthusiasts who came together because they strive to grow the sport of squash in meaningful and impactful ways throughout the state. Within that love and mission, Illinois Squash recognizes that 2020 has been tough and that squash traditionally is exclusive.
The IL Squash Board intends to improve the inclusivity of squash because we love this sport and believe all people should have the opportunity and freedom to fully enjoy and take advantage of the sport.
Squash is one of the most naturally inclusive sports: regardless of your size, appearance, age, gender or sex you can enjoy and play your best.
We are excited for our first event in partnership with MetroSquash Auxiliary board – mark your calendars for Inclusion Town Hall panel discussion January 6th at 6pm with guest speakers moderated by James Dodson.
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Illinois Squash Board
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