Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

 

Join us for some squash and pickleball at the 2024 SquashBusters Rumble. Four teams of pickleball players and squash players – amateurs, students, and pros go head-to-head, earning points for every dollar raised and every match played. The competition is fierce and only one team will emerge victorious and win the coveted Rumble Cup. If you would like to donate and support a player, click on the picture above or click the link here.

 

If you wish to participate, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Stefano Crema at s.crema@squashbusters.org or (401) 356-7022

The 2023 MashUp is Underway!

About the Mashup

SQB MashUp Paddle Tournament

December 3rd, 9:00 am-1:00 pm

The Country Club and Dedham Country & Polo Club

 

SQB MashUp Squash Tournament

December 10th, 9:00 am-1:30 pm

Brooks School

 

SQB MashUp Awards Ceremony

December 10th, 1:00pm

Brooks School

Join us for the 11th Annual SquashBusters Mashup, a pro-amateur squash and paddle tennis tournament hosted by Brooks School, The Dedham Country and Polo Club, and The Country Club in Brookline.

This year’s MashUp is particularly special as it marks the end of an era at Brooks School as next fall SquashBusters Lawrence unveils its new home – The New Balance Foundation SquashBusters Center.

Since expanding north from Boston in 2012, SquashBusters Lawrence has been in search of a permanent home. We’re thrilled to announce that the New Balance Foundation SquashBusters Center will be just that—a forever home. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Brooks School for graciously allowing us to use their courts and classrooms throughout these impactful years

If you wish to support SquashBusters Mashup, click the link here

That’s a Wrap on the 2023 MFS SquashBusters Derby!

More than a hundred colts and fillies saddled up for the 17th annual running of the MFS SquashBusters Derby, but the winner was a veteran warhorse.  At the end of three days of fierce competition and even fiercer camaraderie, it was founder and retiring CEO Greg Zaff who earned all the roses.  “I gave everything I have to this program for nearly 30 years.  All my past competitive drive from the squash court I channeled into building SquashBusters, basing it all on love and the belief that every kid deserves a chance,” he reflected in a moving speech during Saturday evening’s concluding celebration.

Like the actual Kentucky Derby, for which the annual SquashBusters competition is named, the stars turned out for Zaff’s final Derby as Race Director.  Elite Pros who have supported the Derby from the beginning were on hand, like Chris Walker, Martin Heath, Gary Waite and Jonathon Power. Former World No. 1’s David Palmer, John White and Thierry Lincou said yes to the weekend in a heartbeat, while more recent friends Arthur Gaskin, Clinton Leeuw, Kush Kumar, Hameed Ahmed and Justin Singh filled out the impressive pro field. Dan Sharplin came back to Boston from Chattanooga and brought first-timer and former South African star Rodney Durbach with him.

The record-setting weekend raised $1.56m and featured scores of heroes, but Sandy Tierney once again topped the table on the individual front, raising over $100,000 and earning his fifth Secretariat Award.  The themes of continuity and transition permeated the weekend, as both Tierney and Scott DeSantis, Captain of 2023 Champions Racqueteers, talked about the passion that is ignited by being together for the Derby weekend and the opportunity for the younger generation of supporters to take the reins.

The 2023 Derby featured eight teams of singles and doubles players, but both Racqueteers and Churchill Downey, captained by Jeff Harper and Sam Kaplan, sprinted out of the gate from the opening bell.  Both finalists in 2022, the two teams renewed their rivalry in 2023 and once again wound up head-to-head in the lightening round match to determine the winner.  After all 8 singles players had competed the match was still tied. Victory or defeat rested on the shoulders of the pros. At the wire, Arthur Gaskin nosed out North America’s greatest-ever player Power 3-1 to take the race. The victorious Racqueteers team included Gaskin, DeSantis, Connor Stoltz, Mike Semprucci, Yvan Bodart, Dan Latimore, Charlie Humber, Peter Kelly (a sub for injured Jon Hyett), Chandler Willet, Amrit Kanwal, and Martin Heath.

Major corporate support for the 2023 Derby came once again from Title Sponsor MFS Investments, Diamond Sponsors Foxfield, Intercontinental Real Estate , Intex , Westfield Capital Management, Gold Sponsors Archer Venture Capital, Berkshire Partners, Brown Brothers Harriman, Civic Financial, Loomis, Sayles & Co., William O’Neil + Co., and many others. Please visit our Derby Website for a full list.

The afternoon wrapped up with remarks from SQB alum, Vanel Joseph. He spoke about how he was originally attracted to SQB because he wanted to see “where his best friend was going every day after school.” But the program grew into a second home for him and helped him secure a place at Northeastern University where he now is studying health sciences with the goal of becoming an oral surgeon.

 

The celebration continued at the home of Board Member and Salubrious co-captains Simone and Jack Winston. We are grateful to them for opening their home for a second straight year. SquashBusters senior Tracy Nguyen spoke movingly about how SQB had also become a second home for her, how the program sustained her through COVID and helped her to create life-long friends. The evening concluded with Zaff’s reflections on 27 years leading SQB and acknowledged all the staff who have made this incredible program possible, also tipping his hat to his longtime friend and co-race director John Nimick. The evening’s highlights also included Zaff’s introduction by the three SquashBusters Program Directors, Vicky Flamenco, Mikhail Darlington, and Rodney Galvao, who are all alumni of the program. Each shared a personal anecdote about their days with Greg when they were students and he was their coach, reminding everyone of the complete circle their careers represent, and the power of squash, education, and love to change the world.

 

And be sure to click below to see more pictures of the weekend’s festivities.

Thursday Doubles – pw: ccfa45
https://mhumphries.smugmug.com/CLIENTS-2/542023-SQB-Derby-Day-One/

Friday Doubles– pw: ccfa45
https://mhumphries.smugmug.com/CLIENTS-2/552023-SQB-Doubles-Day-2/

Saturday Singles– pw: ccfa45
https://mhumphries.smugmug.com/CLIENTS-2/562023-SQB-Singles-Derby/i-34LTMtQ

Junior Stakes, Saturday Singles, Saturday Celebration – no pw required
https://lightroom.adobe.com/shares/b51ebbb162544e6dbc0c4353a24bec23

 

2019 MashUp Enjoys Best-Ever Success for SquashBusters Lawrence

 

Now in its seventh year, the 2019 SquashBusters MashUp presented by Anbaric raised a record setting total of $420,000 on Sunday, December 8, thanks to the incredible generosity of over 700 squash-friendly supporters in the Merrimack Valley, Boston and New England and corporate sponsors Brown Brothers Harriman, Floyd Advisory, Newmark Knight Frank, Westfield Capital Management, Bank of New England, Ipswich Bay Glass, Plymouth REIT, and Uberdoc. The event comes at an important juncture, as SquashBusters Lawrence is on the verge of breaking ground on a permanent home in partnership with Merrimack College.

The 2019 MashUp enjoyed two flights of platform tennis once again at North Andover Country Club, and a full afternoon of squash, hospitality, and presentations for the first time at the beautiful new, 12-court Palfrey Pavilion in the Snyder Center at Phillips Academy Andover. Special thanks goes out to the Karlen family for encouraging Andover to host the MashUp and to Doug Burbank and Brooks School for being gracious hosts for the past six fabulous years.

 

More than 150 players, guests, sponsors and friends filled the venues. The crowd was treated to a moving set of remarks by SQB Lawrence senior Arianny Acosta, who has applied early to Yale University. This poised, energetic and well-spoken young woman bowled over the packed audience with her remarks, insight, and humor.  Over at the platform tennis courts, an equally inspiring story was shared by Leo Mirabal, who is hoping to enroll at Merrimack in the fall.

All four 18-player teams that convened for the celebration and friendly competition were led by an elite squash pro and two platform pros. Seven amateurs, Brooks and PA students and SQB students rounded out the teams.

USA No. 1 squash player Todd Harrity and paddle stars Johan du Randt and Bill Power headed captain Jon Karlen’s Andover Academics.

Current New Zealand No. 2 squash star Campbell Grayson, and paddle pros Ramon Rodriguez and Tim Stonecipher led captain Bruce Landay’s and Bill Paine’s Merrimack Volley.

American squash star Chris Hanson, currently No. 65 on the PSA World Tour, and paddle pros Leo Power and Scott Staniar helmed captain Henry White’s Essex County Nicks.

Arthur Gaskin, Ireland No. 1 and head pro at Nicol Squash Club at SQB Providence, and paddle pros Admire Mushonga and Scott Slobin took the reins of captain John Manning’s Lawrence Legion.

 

After two waves of brisk platform tennis and three hours of spirited squash, four-time champions Andover Academics retained the podium with a convincing 50 point score, outdistancing second-place finisher Essex County Nicks by a whopping 17 points.  Kiwi Campbell Grayson defeated American Chris Hanson in the Pro final 2-0.

After bestowing the 2019 Golden Mill award for a top team fundraising total of $89,000 to Volley Captains Landay and Paine, SquashBusters Founder and Executive Director Greg Zaff concluded the day by reminding guests and players about the value of saying “yes”.  “We ask,” he said, “But you don’t have to say yes…and many don’t.  But we are here and moving forward because so many of you do.  Thank you.”

To see more photos of the day, visit our Flickr album.

2019 SquashBusters MFS Derby sets another record!

Evening speakers and SQB Seniors, Josiah Bennett and Gerardo Garcia

The 13th running of the MFS SquashBusters Derby in Boston over the first weekend in May established several new benchmarks for the urban squash program’s most important event of the year.  Foremost was a record-setting fundraising total of $1.47 million, generated by more than 100 amateur player/fundraisers and major corporate support from lead Title sponsor MFS Investments, Diamond sponsor Westfield Capital Management and Gold sponsors Brown Brothers Harriman, Loomis, Sayles, & Co., Intercontinental Real Estate and William O’Neil + Co.

The Derby also ushered in a new champion as the retirement of perennial champ Wallbanger opened the gates for captain Tucker Hamlin’s True Blue to take the 2019 title.  Anchored in doubles by past captains Jamie Fagan and Ming Tsai, the rest of the doubles squad included Jesse Lane, Pete McIntire, David Hall, Joe Hegenbart, SquashBusters Executive Director (and double hipster) Greg Zaff and pro Mike Ferreira.  True Blue’s singles roster included Hamlin, Guy Davidson, Greg Ho, Cameron Rahbar, Todd Manley and Todd Bourell, but it was Wael El Hindi who truly earned the roses for True Blue as the charismatic Egyptian star devastated the hopes and dreams of newcomers Bob’s Cats in the Derby final by slotting an overhead nick on Todd Harrity, fellow elite pro and leader of the all-Princeton team, to win the match 15-14.

Winners of the 2019 MFS SquashBusters Derby, True Blue

While the on court theatrics were world class, especially with elite stars David Palmer, Campbell Grayson, Clinton Leeuw, Nick Taylor, Amanda and Sabrina Sobhy, Timmy Brownell, Mike Ferreira, Yvain Badan, Jeff Stanley, Gary Waite, Chris Walker, John Roberts and Mark Talbott all joining in, the effort of some individual fundraisers was out of this world.  Founding Derby Chairman and ex-Wallbanger Captain Amrit Kanwal took home the Secretariat Award for top fundraiser with a total over $100,000.  Jamie Fagan was close behind at $75,000, while Will Muggia, Dave Drubner, Sandy Tierney and George Bell all  topped $50,000.

But the real stars of the 2019 Derby were SquashBusters seniors Josiah Bennett and Gerardo Garcia who concluded the Saturday evening speaking program at SquashBusters on the campus of Northeastern University with a powerful set of remarks, trading the podium back and forth as they movingly and humorously relayed their personal stories and the impact of the SquashBusters program to the packed audience.

Junior Stakes players

Special thanks goes to the University Club of Boston for hosting two highly festive days of doubles, Jeannie Blasberg and Dave Drubner as Co-Chairs, John Nimick as Derby Host and development committee member, all the SquashBusters students who played, Simone Winston for once again organizing a successful Junior Stakes segment, Nick Taylor of INFINITUM Squash for organizing the on court component of the Junior Stakes, Ming Tsai for delivering a tasty treat from Blue Dragon for the party on Friday night, and Michael Schlow and Tico for some killer margaritas and tacos at the party on Saturday night.

Thank you to Marliyn Humphries for her excellent photos of the Derby on Friday and Saturday and John Gillooly for his photos of the Junior Stakes on Saturday morning. To see more photos of the events, please visit our Derby and Junior Stakes Flickr albums.

SquashBusters Providence Rumble exceeds expectations-raises almost $270,000!

Providence was definitely ready to rumble on January 26 when more than 150 supporters filled the Gorgi Center for Squash and Education at Moses Brown School for the first annual SquashBusters Rumble, presented by Bank of America. They were treated to an exciting day of amateur and professional squash, as the afternoon culminated in a round robin among some of the best squash players in the world.

The event was held to raise critical funds for SquashBusters Providence, which is in its first full year of operation, and garnered nearly $270,000, thanks in part to corporate sponsors Parsons KelloggBrown Brothers HarrimanWestfield Capital ManagementHall Capital Management Company, the de Ramel Foundation, and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

With an opening on Saturday afternoon straight out of World Wrestling Entertainment, host John Nimick donned a shoe-length black leather coat and killer sunglasses to introduce an incredible cast of pro squash stars, including Nick “The Wolf” Matthew, Todd “The Terminator” Harrity, King Arthur Gaskin, Bonnie Prince Peter Nicol and Queen Nour El Tayeb of Egypt.  Fresh off his first victory at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions the night before, a result that will see him rise to World No. 1 for February, Harvard graduate Ali Farag was unable to participate after receiving a sudden and unexpected call-up to Egyptian military service, requiring him to return to Cairo.

With America’s top ranked PSA player Harrity at the helm, Captain Ashley Jacobs’ Rhody Scholars took top honors as Rumble One Champions, outpointing second place finishers The Sharks, captained by two of the Rumble’s top fundraisers Habib Gorgi and Bill Hatfield of Bank of America. The Sharks  did come away with the equally prestigious Tidal Wave trophy, presented to the most successful fundraising team. The Sharks were led into pro battle by World No. 3 Nour El Tayeb. No quarter was asked or given in her three round robin matches against the gentlemen.  Six time Irish National Champion Arthur Gaskin and former World No. 1 and World Champion Peter Nicol teamed up to lead The Kilts into third place, while former World No. 1 and World Champion Nick Matthew represented the Rhode Warriors, the Rumble’s second best fundraising team headed up Paul Salem and playing captain Peter Gemma.

Kealie Burt, a member of the Providence seventh grade team spoke movingly about how much the program has helped her and has become a second family. She remembered a time when she was in a cooking competition and none of her family could be there; her whole SquashBusters team and coaches showed up instead to cheer her on and see her win first place.

Founder and CEO Greg Zaff brought the day to a fitting close by thanking all participants – Rumble players, volunteers and donors – for their generosity and passion to see a better future for every SquashBusters student.

To see more pictures of the day, click here.

2019 SquashBusters Providence Rumble presented by Bank of America

Join us Saturday, January 26
for the first-ever
SquashBusters Providence Rumble!

To Benefit SquashBusters Providence

Our mission is to transform the lives of our students through
squash and fitness, academic support, and character development. Our inaugural Rumble will raise critical funds for and awareness of SquashBusters Providence, improving the lives of our students and allowing our program to grow and thrive.

Come watch some incredible amateur singles and doubles, and what is sure to be a hotly contested professional round robin, featuring

  • World number 3, Nour el Tayeb
  • World number 2, Ali Farag
  • Irish National Champion, Arthur Gaskin
  • US National Champion, Todd Harrity
  • Three-time World Champion, Nick Matthew
  • Former World number 1, Peter Nicol

Schedule of Events

3:00 – Opening Ceremonies

3:30-6:30 – Amateur Round Robin Singles and Doubles

6:30-7:15 – Professional Round Robin

7:15-8:00 – Tidal Wave and Championship trophy presentations

Learn More

 

SQB Providence Summer Slam

SquashBusters Providence students
SquashBusters Providence will hold summer programming from July 9-19 for students currently in the full-year program.

SEA Alumni Nationals

alumni nationals

Join urban squash alumni from all over at the Squash and Education Alliance (SEA)’s Alumni Nationals 2018. . This year’s tournament will be held at StreetSquash Harlem in New York.

Schedule of Events

Friday, August 3 — 6 — 8pm Hit-around & Alumni Welcome Dinner/Some matches begin.
Saturday, August 4 — 8:30am — 7:30pm Tournament matches run throughout the day. Midday break in play for Award Ceremony and breakout sessions.
Sunday, August 5 — 10am — 2pm Final matches

Please note that this year’s tournament will be an individuals format. All squash-related questions should be directed to Edgardo Gonzalez, Senior Squash Director at StreetSquash and CitySquash ’09.

To sign up for Alumni Nationals, please fill out this Google form.

Also, a heads up that alumni are responsible for:

  • $15 entry fee — after submitting the entry form later this month, payment may be made using the SEA program payment site and selecting “Urban Squash Alumni Nationals” in the drop-down menu.
  • Transportation and housing to attend the weekend. SEA will reimburse up to $100 or 50% of airfare (whichever is less) for alumni traveling from locations that are further than 5 hours away by car or bus.
  • SEA will provide dinner on Friday; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday; and breakfast on Sunday.