New York City Hails World’s First Public Outdoor Squash Court
By PETER SCHMIDL – ASB SquashCourts
The unveiling of the world’s first public squash court in New York City has generated considerable public interest in the US city. The pioneering project is the initiative of the Public Squash Foundation, whose goal is to offer free access to squash in public places.
The inaugural all-glass court, manufactured by ASB Squash, is modelled on the ASB ShowGlassCourt used at top tier PSA World Tour events, WSF World Championships and Commonwealth Games around the world – but modified for the outdoors.
The new court, at Hamilton Fish Park on Lower East Side, was officially opened by NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. Installed on one of the park’s four handball courts, the squash court is the latest addition to the NYC Parks’ Adopt-a-Park program. ASB will continue its cooperation with the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Professional Squash Association (PSA) to encourage other cities, local federations and communities in the US and around the world to follow the breakthrough New York example.
“It is exciting to work with the Public Squash to bring an amenity as unique as outdoor squash to one of our city parks,” said Commissioner Silver at the launch. “Athletic activity benefits us mentally and physically; and falling in love with a sport like squash can expose us to worlds we may never have otherwise come into contact with.”
Ryan Wall, director of Public Squash, added: “Bringing squash outside, and making it free to the public, is the best way to give access to all, and increase the visibility of the game.”
In a news story in the New York Times, under the headline Squash Without the Ceiling, New York stylist Danielle Brown told reporter Amy Sohn: “It’s amazing being outside ….. the whole community has been dying for this. I like it better than playing inside.”
ASB US Consultant Conor O’Malley explained: “There are several key ingredients needed for any successful project to come together; you need the right timing, partners, patience and perseverance. So in essence, this is really a story of triumph for the squash community brought about by Public Squash Foundation, ASB, NYC Parks & Recreation Department – and, of course, made possible by the generous supporters.
“We hope this is the just the beginning of more courts and more cities embracing this Public Squash movement,” added the former US Squash Vice President.
Tommy Berden, the PSA’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “As Squash is bidding for inclusion in the Olympic Programme, the opening of a public outdoor squash court in New York serves as a strong example of the value that squash can bring to a host city, by easily and efficiently integrating with the modern urban landscapes and lifestyles.
“I am convinced that the new court will further contribute to enhance the image of the iconic East Village known for its diverse, dynamic and artistic community and will become a popular sport venue for the locals.”
Check out the ASB Facebook gallery for further images: www.facebook.com/pg/asbsquash/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1754646944574068
Pictures by: Public Squash