Friday, April 19, 2024

Demer Holleran honoured at ToC

Demer Holleran flanked by John Nimick and Ashleigh Bernhard
Demer Holleran flanked by John Nimick and Ashleigh Bernhard

Award for massive contribution to US Squash 
By BETH RASIN in New York


Demer Holleran, one of the most dominant players in US squash history, received the third annual Tournament of Champions (ToC) Women’s Leadership Award in recognition of her sustained leadership and contributions to the sport of squash.

Holleran received the award from event co-chairs John Nimick, the president of Event Engine, promoter of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions, the world’s largest spectator squash event, and Ashley Bernhard, Deputy Chair of the Board of the Professional Squash Association.

Previous recipients include Linda Elriani, Director of Squash at Brooklyn’s Heights Casino and Tournament Director of the Carol Weymuller Open, and Natalie Grainger, Director of Squash, Chelsea Piers – Stamford.

Holleran, who has won 34 national championships, including a record nine women’s US National titles, was recognized for the leadership mantle she assumed as a player, a coach and a developer of one of the largest public squash clubs in the US.

After graduating from Princeton University, where she won three intercollegiate national championships, the Philadelphia native spent one year playing the women’s professional squash tour abroad. Upon her return to the US, Holleran embarked on a coaching career while continuing to play professional squash and representing the US in five World Team Championships and three Pan American Games.

As head coach at U.Penn, her teams were consistently one of the top three women’s college squash teams and won a national championship in 2000. Holleran extended her commitment to developing and supporting female squash players when she created the only all-girls’ summer squash camp.

Holleran transitioned from coach to club owner in 2007 when she developed and opened the 46,000-foot Fairmount Athletic Club, with 14 squash courts, in King of Prussia, Pa.

“Demer’s leadership at the grass roots and club level has been focused on increasing public access to squash,” said Nimick. “It is especially fitting that we are paying tribute to Demer at the Tournament of Champions, which for the past 25 years has been similarly committed to bringing the sport to the public at large.

“The ToC Women’s Leadership Award and the associated luncheon were inaugurated in 2014 to enhance the visibility of women leaders in the sport of squash and promote gender equity,” said Bernhard. “We are inspired by Demer Holleran’s continuing leadership and commitment to growing our sport.” 


Picture by STEVE LINE ( 


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