Watch a dynamic multimedia production showcasing an awesome World Class Squash Championships held in the autumn of 2010 at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, IL.
[vimeo width=”550″ height=”330″]http://www.vimeo.com/21416719[/vimeo]
Chicago Photographer Marian Kraus highlights the event that benefited METROsquash and the world’s top squash players who competed for the trophies and prize moneys of $100,000 total. Some fantastic matches throughout the week led up to the finals of the 2010 METROsquash which featured a battle of textbook squash by the dutch Laurens Jan Anjema against the famous Egyptian attacking style by Wael El Hindi. A tinned volley drop gave the match to Wael at 11-7 in the final game and he was crowned the winner of the 2010 METROsquash U.S. Open. It was a hard fought victory for Wael and the packed crowd that stayed up close to midnight gave him and his opponent a well deserved standing ovation.
On the ladies side, the 2010 METROsquash U.S. Open featured the classic match-up of youth against experience. The up and coming Amanda Sobhy had the packed home crowd on her side as she was the youngest U.S. born squash player to ever reach a US open final. She was playing against the very experienced former world open champion Vanessa Atkinson from the Netherlands. Atkinson led throughout the match and won comfortably 3-0.
During the week 96 of the world’s top men and women squash professionals were playing 4 days on a McWil all-glass court on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage. The pavillion was designed by master architect Mr. Frank Gehry, and is a visual feast for every Chicago architectural photographer. The University Club of Chicago hosted the early rounds in its new Cardio and Squash Center. Attending and serving as honorary co-chairs were former Mayor Richard Daley and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Clare Muñana, Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education, is serving as event chair and Chicago’s own Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless who catered the gala reception before the women’s and men’s U.S. Open squash finals on Saturday. “It is my pleasure to co-chair the 2010 U.S. Open in Millenniuim Park, along with the Education Expo that METROsquash is hosting during this historic event,” said Daley. “Athletic activities instill the discipline and perseverance in our youth that help them attain their personal and academic best.” “The support METROsquash offers is key to the future success of young people and I am certain that through continued hard work, motivation, and determination, these students will become leaders in their communities,” added Gates.
All proceeds of the event supported METROsquash, a 501(c)(3) non-profit after school program serving Chicago Public School students through the combination of academic enrichment and squash instruction. METROsquash also hosted an educational exposition for 2,000 Chicago Public School students and their families, during the course of the week which gave students a unique opportunity to learn about the ways in which squash, academics, life skills, culture, and community service interact to build confidence and capabilities of Chicago’s youth.
“METROsquash is a leader in combining academics and athletics to provide Chicago’s students with excellent enrichment opportunities,” said Muñana. “This transformational program ensures that its students are fully engaged and supported in all of their endeavors – on and off the court!”
In addition, hundreds of local, out-of-state and international squash players – and METROsquash students – had the opportunity to compete in one of the country’s largest and hotly contested skill level events.