I have played Squash for approximately eight years and between the expected competitive tournaments, the training, and the intense exercise, I have come to truly love the sport. Squash has offered me the opportunity to travel internationally and represent America in Egypt, Germany, Italy, and England. It has also shaped me into a tough competitor and a focused individual. Squash is a sport that is exploding in popularity. It is awaiting the result of the International Olympic Committee’s compelling bid to become an Olympic sport in 2020. I wondered why Friends Academy doesn’t have a Squash team and went on a quest to see if there was any way I could start one.
My first stop was to Athletic Director Mr. Quackenbush’s office. He told me that at one point, Friends did have a small squash club played at Nassau Country Club a couple of times a week. However, the program eventually died out. He also filled me in on the requirements for the creation of a revived Squash program. These requirements include suitable courts and facilities, a Friends Academy representative to chaperone the group, a qualified professional to conduct practices, and other school teams to compete against.
Shortly after meeting with Mr. Quackenbush, I spoke to Muhamed Ali (not the boxer), a local squash professional and former top hundred player in the world. Ali used to coach the Poly Prep team from Brooklyn. He made it clear to me that he would be delighted to not only coach our team at the Creek Club courts (a prime facility only five minutes away from Friends) but also to eventually send a squad to the U.S. Squash High School Nationals held annually at Yale. I will continue to work on forming a squash team and to recruit students to join. I hope that one day, Friends Academy will both send a small squad to Yale to compete at the High School Nationals and that my passion for the fun and athleticism of the game will spread to others in the community.