Wednesday 28 May 2008

Surf City joins tidal wave

Courtesy of

Surf City joins tidal wave
San Diego, CA, USA

It was an idea in the minds of Chris Walker and Greg Scherman, proprietors of San Diego Squash. Now two years later it is a viable, vibrant program that has changed the lives of its participants ...

What is Surf City Squash?

It is a non-profit organization that attempts to inspire underprivileged youth to excel through a program combining squash, academics, and community service. With its first year coming to a close, Surf City Squash has changed the lives of the 18 participants providing opportunities for enrichment and excellence.

Chris Walker, former English captain and oft capped star, helped start the program at his club in "America's Finest City" with donations from hedge fund managers on the East Coast and supporters in San Diego. After an extensive search, Renato Paiva, former ranked world junior player, South American champion, and Harvard coach, was selected as Executive Director. Eighteen middle school students, ages 12-14, were selected to participate after three tryouts in which 60 students competed for the slots. The students were chosen based on enthusiasm, responsiveness, and interest.

Ten times a month the students come to the facilities at San Diego squash where they spend over two hours, half of the time on the squash court, and the other half in study sessions. Once a month they participate in a community service project that varies from feeding the homeless, beach clean-up, to aiding autistic children. The success of the program is evident by the improvement on the squash court, in the classroom, and in their personal development.

Ten members of the team, 5 boys and 5 girls, recently traveled to Philadelphia where they placed 5th in the Urban National team championships and most of the students will be participating in the individual championships in Massachusetts in mid-June. The students have played in numerous tournaments in Southern California and have done extremely well for first year players.

Surf City Squash is part of a tidal wave that is transforming squash in the United States. Formerly a sport restricted to those who attended the right schools or were members of certain clubs, squash is spreading through the development of urban squash programs throughout the country. Surf City Squash has just been granted membership in NUSEA (National Urban Squash and Education Association), becoming the only such sanctioned program in the Western section of the United States. At sites in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, magnificent facilities have been built through private donations bringing new and different groups into the squash world.

You can learn more about this exciting and developing program at its website:

1 comment:

  1. This is a great initiative. With more people interested in Squash, the demand for courts all over the US will increase. I grew up playing the game and would really like to see avenues open up for today's schools and colleges promoting the game.


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