Prize purse of $150,000 for men and women in Hull
By NATHAN CLARKE
Female players will earn the same prize money as their male counterparts for the first time in the history of the prestigious Allam British Open when the 2017 iteration of squash’s oldest and most established tournament gets underway next March.
Taking place at the Airco Arena, Hull, from March 19-26 the iconic ‘Wimbledon of Squash’ will bring together more than 120 of the best male and female players from around the world to compete for the sought-after title, which has been contested since the 1920s. In 2017 the event will be jointly promoted by England Squash and the Professional Squash Association.
The move to equal prize money, with $150,000 on offer in both the men’s and women’s draws, sees the Allam British Open become the first major British squash tournament ever to offer financial parity to competitors. While it becomes the fourth tournament on the PSA World Series, after the U.S. Open (2013), Windy City Open (2015) and Tournament of Champions (2016) to reach parity.
“Squash is one of only a few sports in which women and men compete in the same event at the same time, under the same rules, scoring system and size of playing surface,” said England Squash CEO Keir Worth.
“We are extremely proud that the 2017 Allam British Open is going to be a showcase for equality in sport as well as for world class squash.”
Professional Squash Association Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “Across the PSA World Tour we have made great strides towards increasing gender equality since integrating the Women’s Tour in 2015 and today’s announcement further underlines our commitment to achieving parity.
“Since the U.S. Open became the first major PSA World Series tournament to achieve parity in 2013 we have been steadily working towards levelling the playing field between men and women. To see the British Open join the U.S. Open, Windy City Open, Tournament of Champions and PSA World Series Finals in offering equal prize money is a great moment for the sport.
“With the 2017 Men’s and Women’s World Championships, taking place in Manchester In December 2017, also committing to equal prize money we hope these steps will also demonstrate to young girls and aspiring players who want a career in sport that squash offers a genuine opportunity to compete and earn on a level playing field with men.”
Steve Forster commented: “On behalf of Dr Allam and the Allam family, we are honoured to continue our sponsorship of the event and we are proud that our legacy of the event is that men and women will be rewarded equally. Dr Allam believes that this sets the bar for other tournaments around the world.”
The 2017 Allam British Open will take place at the Airco Arena, Hull from March 19-26. Ticket details will be confirmed in January via englandsquash.com and psaworldtour.com
Picture courtesy of PSA