The Professional Squash Association Foundation (PSA Foundation) has revealed that the recent J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) Women’s Leadership Program raised over $41,000 for mental health support.
Held ahead of the first matches of the ToC, a Gold-level event on the PSA World Tour, this year the Women’s Leadership Program honored Margaret H. “Peg” Wyant for excellence on and off the squash court. Wyant is an inspiration and a pioneer of corporate business, author, philanthropist, community advocate and the matriarch of one of the most successful families in American squash history.
The event, which included a reception, ceremony and the evening matches of the ToC, featured a number of female leaders and role models, including WSF President Zena Wooldridge, OBE, who has spoken a number of times on the importance of visible female role models, alongside WSF CEO William Louis-Marie.
To mark the occasion, US No.1 Amanda Sobhy delivered a heartfelt speech about her own mental health struggles and how she wanted to speak up and help create a health and wellness platform to remove the stigmas around mental health and foster a spirit of helping each other.
“I was honoured to be invited to attend the Women’s Leadership Program,” said Wooldridge afterwards. “Initiatives like these make a huge difference to ensuring that squash continues to become a more open and welcoming sport and I was inspired by the stories of Peg and Amanda, who are both excellent role models for women and girls.”
The money raised will directly benefit the players of the tour through the PSA Foundation Health and Wellness Program. The program was launched to bring together players to tackle the wellbeing challenges on Tour. Professional sport presents unique pressures for athletes and the aim for this programme is the players will spearhead a Tour wide effort to share struggles, advice, experiences and support each other.
The PSA Foundation added that particular thanks for the success of the Women’s Leadership Program must go to the Women’s Leadership Program committee, Ashley Bernhard, Will Carlin, John Nimick, and Melissa and Jess Whinstanley for all their efforts and generosity.