Laura Massaro happy to head back to Hull for British Open
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
The Women’s Squash Association is hailing the ‘wonderful commitment’ by Dr Assem Allam to extend the sponsorship of the prestigious British Open in Hull for a further three years, including the goal to provide prize-money parity by 2017.
The Allam British Open Squash Championships are set to return to the Yorkshire city for a further three years after Dr Allam signed an agreement with England Squash & Racketball to continue as title sponsor of the most prestigious tournament in squash.
The three-year agreement will keep the event named ‘a national treasure’ in Hull until 2017, the year the city will take the spotlight as the UK City of Culture.
The deal will also guarantee equal prize money for the women’s event by 2017. Dr Allam, who has raised prize money for the women’s event year-on-year since 2012, promises to match the total women’s prize fund with the men’s.
Often referred to as the ‘Wimbledon of Squash’, the Allam British Open will be held at the Airco Arena in Hull between 11-17 May 2015 and will attract the world’s best squash players including England stars Nick Matthew, the three-time world champion from Sheffield, and WSA board member Laura Massaro, winner of both the World Championship and British Open in 2013.
“I am very happy to support the Allam British Open for a further three years,” said Dr Allam at the signing. “This event is truly a ‘national treasure’ and it is fantastic that this three-year deal will take us to 2017 when Hull will take the spotlight as the UK City of Culture.”
WSA CEO Tommy Berden added: “With a rich history going back to 1922, the British Open has always had a special place on the WSA World Tour and now we are delighted that its future is assured for the next three years thanks to this wonderful commitment by Dr Allam.
“It is especially rewarding that Dr Allam’s vision includes prize-money parity and we look forward to working with his team to fulfil his dream of establishing this ‘national treasure’ in Hull.”
Massaro, who joined Dr Allam at the signing (and is pictured during a TV interview after the launch), said: “I’m always happy to come back to Hull. I had a great win here in 2013 and will be hoping to repeat that this year.
“I am also pleased that with Dr. Allam’s support this important tournament will achieve equal prize money for men and women by 2017, a step that will hopefully encourage tournaments across the world to do the same.”
Picture courtesy of WSA