World number three James Willstrop has opened five new glass back squash courts at a launch party at the University of Hull celebrating the new state-of-the-art facility invested in by England Squash & Racketball.
Also attending the opening was Vice Chancellor Calie Pistorius and British Open title sponsor Assem Allam, who was instrumental in bringing the tournament to the city.
Students and children from the local Humber Squash Academy also enjoyed trying out the new courts with a helping hand from Willstrop.
The courts will help to deliver the legacy of the Allam British Open to students, children and the local community.
Willstrop said: “As a Yorkshireman it’s even more prominent for me that by holding the British Open in Hull we can also create a lasting legacy for students and the local community. Sport and in particular squash is really thriving in Yorkshire and these courts will only help to get more people involved in our sport.”
The main event is being held on a spectacular all-glass court at the KC Stadium between 20-26 May whilst the British Open Masters tournament will be staged at the University during the same period.
The University will host hundreds of Masters players ranging from over 35’s to over 80’s from across the world.
Title sponsor Dr. Allam commented: “The new courts at the University of Hull are a fantastic resource and are the perfect venue at which to stage the Allam British Open Masters tournament in May.
“They also form a major part of the legacy of the contest, one of the priorities of which is to encourage more people of all ages to take up the sport of squash by creating top class facilities in the city.”
Professor Ian Pashby, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Engagement at the University of Hull said: “The University of Hull is delighted to be working with England Squash & Racketball to deliver the prestigious 2013 Allam British Open squash tournament.
“The refurbishment of our squash facilities for this year’s event will also deliver a lasting legacy by providing our students and the wider community with state-of-the art facilities. This launch event will be a first opportunity to show off these new facilities to the community and we hope that people come and take a look.”
Picture shows, left to right; Head of Sport at the University of Hull David Varley, World number three James Willstrop, Vice Chancellor Calie Pistorius, Dr. Assem Allam, CEO of England Squash & Racketball Nick Rider and two children from the Humberside Squash Academy.