Squash players can win selfie prizes and support their local health heroes thanks to a partnership agreement between World Squash Day and i-Mask.
Richard Millman and Simon Stanbridge, owners and distributors of the i-Mask, have created a branded version to support World Squash Day.
The name of every purchaser of an i-Mask Face Shield sold with World Squash Day branding will go into draws taking place on September 12, September 26 and on the big day itself, October 10.
The prizes will be allocated on a regional basis, including North and South America, Europe and UK, Middle East and Asia, and Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and South Africa.
Each regional winner can nominate a health care provider to receive five face shields valued at $250 for the first two draws, and double that number for the World Squash Day draw.
The recipients will receive free supplies of the i-Mask+ that has been specially adapted for use in the medical and dental professions.
“This is a wonderful way for the squash community to give something back to all the health heroes who have worked so hard to contain the coronavirus during the past six months or so,” said Millman, who is based in Chattanooga, USA.
“We were approached by squash-playing friends in the healthcare industry who liked wearing the i-Mask on court and asked if we could adapt it for medical and dental workers.
“Simon, who lives in Australia, quickly came up with an acceptable design and, once we had official approval, we were very quickly into production.
“I love the fact that our i-Mask partnership is a truly global one, with our network of distributors able to reach every country on the planet, and that, through World Squash Day, we can encourage the global squash community to support the health care workers.
“They thoroughly deserve every ounce of support. They are incredible people who have made so many sacrifices and have often put themselves at personal risk while saving others simply because of the lack of suitable equipment.
“Also, right now we need everyone in squash to get behind World Squash Day to help relaunch the sport after such a challenging start to the year.
“In 1995 i-Mask became the first eye wear product to gain World Squash Federation approval. We are delighted to see that World Squash Day is endorsed by both the WSF and the PSA World Tour.
“We are all in this together, from ordinary club players right through every strata of the game to the sport’s leading professionals.”
In addition to the donations to the health care providers, i-Mask will also be giving away prizes for the best selfies posted on social media by players hitting a ball while wearing the face shields.
Squash players and coaches have been quick to back the i-Mask scheme.
Rising Egyptian star Mostafa Asal is one of many professional players to wear the face protection on court.
Mike Harris, a leading coach who is Head of Performance and Community at the world-famous Edgbaston Priory club in Birmingham, England, said: “I started wearing the i-Mask+ Faceshield for two important reasons.
“Firstly, I’m blind in my right eye and have worn regular squash glasses on court, but I had trouble seeing the ball at times due to the nose guard. I need every millimetre of vision out of my left eye and the i-Mask+ Faceshield has given me the improved vision that I need.
“Secondly, the UK has only just reopened squash clubs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I wanted our clients at Edgbaston Priory to know that we’re taking their safety, as well as ours, seriously on court and the members have appreciated our approach. We are now beginning to order i-Mask+ Faceshields for members to purchase.”
In America, leading coach Shaun Moxham has produced a YouTube video showing players at the MSquash Club in Port Chester, New York, wearing the i-Mask shield.
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Moxham said: “The iMask face shield is so important to the game during this Covid pandemic.
“At MSquash here in the states we have decided to meet the challenge head on with the help of Richard and i-Mask.
“The video highlights what is possible if we want to get back on the court and stay on court until things improve and vaccinations become available.”
The i-Mask range is available all over the world. Please click here for product information and contact details of main distributors.
Further information on World Squash Day is available from WSD Founder Alan Thatcher: email@example.com
Terms and Conditions for the i-Mask+ competition are published on the World Squash Day website.