The world’s leading players will be honoured at the sixth annual World Squash Awards which will take place in the stunning Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal, New York, on Thursday 20th January 2011.
This year’s awards, founded in 2005 by Eventis Sports Marketing and endorsed annually by the World Squash Federation (WSF), the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA), will be presented by Lexington Partners and take place the night before the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions takes centre stage in the same location.
As well as embracing the PSA and WISPA Players of the Year, in acknowledgement of the North American location, this year’s awards will also honour the top new player & doubles team from the ISDA, the American hardball doubles tour.
Amongst the favourites for this year’s PSA Male Player of the Year will be world No1 Ramy Ashour & PSA World Open champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nick Matthew, while Malaysia’s World Champion & World No1 Nicol David looks like favourite to maintain her stranglehold on the women’s award.
The glittering gala evening will be hosted by Peter Nicol MBE and John Nimick, and it has already been confirmed that special guest Frank Stella will be in attendance to collect one of this year’s awards. World-renowned artist Stella was instrumental back in the early 80s for the conversion of hardball singles to softball squash, which paved the way for the squash boom in the USA.
Peter Nicol MBE, Director of Eventis, said: “We were delighted when the opportunity came up to partner with Event Engine and its signature event the “ToC” on the World Squash Awards and to take it to such a stunning famous location. Players have loved playing on the glass court there for many years and it is a fitting venue for the awards as we look to expand their profile.”
Individual tickets or tables can be booked by anyone wishing to attend and Nicol goes on to explain: “We always see the event as the chance for people from all walks of squash to get together, and the great thing about taking the event to New York is that this year it will involve a whole new raft of individuals who we are sure will have a great evening and help it grow in stature."
The WSA will precede the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions, which is the first PSA World Series event of 2011, and will take place on the all glass court built in the Vanderbilt Hall for the week.
The categories and past winners of the World Squash Awards are:
PSA Male Player of Year – 2005 Thierry Lincou, 2006 and 2007 Amr Shabana, 2008 James Willstrop, 2009 Karim Darwish
PSA Young Male Player of Year – 2005 James Willstrop, 2006 and 2007 Ramy Ashour, 2008 Omar Mosaad, 2009 Mohamed El Shorbagy
WISPA Female Player of Year – 2005 Vanessa Atkinson, 2006-2009 Nicol David
WISPA Female Young Player of the Year – 2005 Raneem El Weleily, 2006 Tenille Swartz, 2007 Camille Serme, 2008 Annie Au 2009 Nour El Sherbini
WISPA Female Most Improved Player of the Year – 2005 Alison Waters 2006 Nicolette Fernandes 2007 Shelley Kitchen, 2008 Laura Lengthorn-Massaro 2009 Camille Serme
Services to Squash Award – 2007 Dicky Rutnagur, 2008 Jim Quigley, 2009 Andrew Shelley
Lifetime Achievement Award – 2005 Jahangir Khan, 2006 Jonah Barrington, 2007 Heather McKay, 2008 Geoff Hunt, Azam Khan and Hashim Khan 2009 F.D. Amr Bey