By ANDY WESTON – Squash Mad Correspondent
The 2021 Springfield Scottish Squash Open has received a funding boost ahead of the event taking place at Inverness Tennis and Squash Club in September.
As part of a Professional Squash Association (PSA) grant scheme, the event will receive $5,000 – split equally between the male and female competitions – as the association looks to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PSA has awarded more than 15 grants totalling $55,000 to tournaments from nine countries, which will herald the return of international events on the PSA Challenger Tour.
Until last month’s HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Chennai Leg 1, the Challenger Tour had been limited to domestic events since the initial six-month suspension of the PSA Tour between March – September 2020 due to challenges resulting from the global pandemic.
The grant can be used towards operational costs or prize money.
This year’s prize fund for the Springfield Scottish Squash Open of $20,000 will be equally split between male and female players when the event takes place between September 22-26.
Tournament promoter Allan McKay said: “We’re very grateful that the PSA is further supporting the 2021 Springfield Scottish Squash Open with this grant.
“As we build up to September’s event, the additional funding will go a long way towards ensuring we can give players and spectators alike the best possible squash experience and help grow our sport across the Highlands.
“The pandemic has had a real impact across squash and sporting events, which is undoubtedly going to add increased costs to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
“The additional support from the PSA will help maximise safety measures should spectators be permitted come September.”
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough added: “The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the PSA Challenger Tour, and we believe that our new grant scheme will give some much-needed support to tournament promoters as we look to create a thriving professional circuit.
“Creating greater playing and earning opportunities for our players lower down the rankings has been a key objective for us since before the pandemic and the outlook for international Challenger Tour events is looking very positive.”
The 2021 Scottish Squash Open is heading to the Highlands thanks to the support of Springfield Properties, one of the country’s leading private and affordable house builders.
For further information on the 2021 Springfield Scottish Squash Open, please visit www.scottishsquashopen.com
Pictures courtesy of Scottish Squash