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 part of the Official Dinner of the World Open Squash 2011 in the Dutch City of Sport.
The World Open Dinner is hosted by Squash Bond Nederland and will feature most of the top players, tournament officials, representatives from the PSA, WISPA and WSF, and delegates from most national governing bodies who will be in attendance for the WSF AGM earlier in the day.
The event not only coincides with World Open semi-finals day, but also World Squash Day.
Amongst the favourites for this year’s PSA Male Player of the Year will be England’s world champion, world No1 and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nick Matthew, while Malaysia’s world champion and world No1 Nicol David is looking to maintain her stranglehold on the women’s award – although a couple of unexpected losses in 2011 might mean that the WISPA Player of the Year award goes to somebody else for the first time since 2005.
Peter Nicol MBE, Director of Eventis, the founder of the yearly gathering, said: “We’re delighted to be staging the World Squash Awards in conjunction with the combined Men’s & Women’s World Opens. The Official Dinner provides the perfect platform for the awards.”
The former world champion and world number one added: “Every year I am amazed as the standard in squash gets higher and higher. There is such great strength in depth in both the men’s and women’s games and so many exciting youngsters coming through so it is almost impossible to predict who the winners will be this year.”
Marcel Borst, Managing director of Squash Bond Nederland, added his enthusiasm: “We are delighted to invite all the International delegates and players to The Netherlands by hosting the World Open in combination with the WSF conference and AGM and we very much welcome the presentation of the World Squash Awards at the formal dinner. We have selected the perfect place to honour our winners in Rotterdam on this special occasion choosing a stunning location with the Maas and the Erasmus bridge as a backdrop, where we can host everyone in a fantastic atmosphere.”
The World Squash Awards will precede the grand finals of the World Opens, which will be played out in the stunning Luxor Theatre in front of a capacity crowd of almost 1,500.
The categories and past winners of the World Squash Awards are:
PSA Male Player of Year – 2005 Thierry Lincou, 2006 & 2007 Amr Shabana, 2008 James Willstrop, 2009 Karim Darwish, 2010 Nick Matthew
PSA Young Male Player of Year – 2005 James Willstrop, 2006 & 2007 Ramy Ashour, 2008 Omar Mosaad, 2009 & 2010 Mohamed El Shorbagy
WISPA Female Player of Year – 2005 Vanessa Atkinson, 2006-2010 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, 2010 Nour El Tayeb
WISPA Female Most Improved Player of the Year – 2005 Alison Waters, 2006 Nicolette Fernandes, 2007Shelley Kitchen, 2008 Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, 2009 Camille Serme, 2010 Kasey Brown
Services to Squash Award – 2007 Dicky Rutnagur, 2008 Jim Quigley, 2009 Andrew Shelley, 2010 Frank Stella
Lifetime Achievement Award – 2005 Jahangir Khan, 2006 Jonah Barrington, 2007 Heather McKay, 2008 Geoff Hunt, Azam Khan & Hashim Khan, 2009 F.D. Amr Bey, 2010 Mark Talbot
Information about the dinner, is available from Tim Garner at Tgarner@eventis-sports.com