World’s best squash player to help dedicate CSU-Pueblo squash wall on March 17
PUEBLO –An appearance by one of the greatest squash players of all time will help to properly honor the generosity of donors as Colorado State University-Pueblo officials dedicate Colorado’s first squash court south of Colorado Springs on March 17 in the Student Recreation Center.
The ribbon cutting will begin at 5 p.m. on March 17 and will feature an appearance by 95-year old Hashim Khan, a squash player from Pakistan who won the British Open seven times between 1951 and 1958 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest squash players of all time. A Denver resident, he was the first great player to emerge from a Pakistani dynasty of squash players which dominated the international game for decades. A 2008 documentary film of Khan benefits greatly both from the exceptional film footage of the mountainous and still-primitive Peshawar region where he was born (and where he is still greeted as a returning hero whenever he visits his native land) and from the compelling manner in which Khan’s improbable life-journey from impoverished roots to British Open squash champion to world ambassador is presented. A seven-minute look at his life may be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-fNxH-iI4Q
Nearly $7,000 of the nearly $19,000 project was contributed as part of the University’s annual Pepsi Grant allocation, a competitive on-campus program that seeks projects that improve the physical appearance of the campus while benefitting the campus population. The Pepsi Grant funding from 2009 allocation was matched by numerous donations, including $7,000 from Jorge Ayala, an 1985 alumnus of then University of Southern Colorado, and the owner of Jorge’s Sombrero Restaurant. Additional donors included Homer Blackwell, Blair and Katrina Presti, Jason Van Zandt, John and Mark Keilback, Kevin Keilbach Insurance, Richard and Suzanne Krinsky, Will Wright, and other private donors who wished to remain anonymous.
DenaSue Potestio, executive director of the CSU-Pueblo Foundation, said many of the donors who stepped up to support this project did not come from the University’s traditional fundraising pool.
“Many were first time givers to the University,” Potestio said. “These donors had a passion for the game and connected their passion to an opportunity at the University that will benefit not only our students but Southern Colorado as well.”
A moveable back-glass wall was retrofitted in the place of an existing fixed-glass back wall in one of the four racquetball courts in the University’s Student Recreation Center. The moveable wall allows for the double play of either racquetball or squash in the same court. The moveable wall shortens the racquetball court by eight feet and becomes the back-wall for squash. The court is double marked so that both sports can be played in the same space. In addition, an 18-inch tin is placed on the bottom of the front wall and all good shots in squash must be above the tin.
Several variations of squash exist across the world. In the U.S., hardball singles and doubles are played with a much harder ball and different size courts. Hardball singles has lost much of its popularity in North America, but the hardball doubles game is still active. A doubles version of squash also is played with the standard ball, sometimes on a wider court, and a more tennis-like variation known as squash tennis.
The relatively small court and low-bouncing ball makes scoring points harder than in its American cousin, racquetball, as the ball may be played to all four corners of the court. Since every ball must strike the front wall above the tin (unlike racquetball), the ball cannot be easily "killed". As a result, rallies tend to be longer than in racquetball.
Squash provides an excellent cardiovascular workout. In one hour of squash, a player may expend approximately 600 to 1,000 calories which is significantly more than most other sports and over 70 percent more than either general tennis or racquetball. The sport also provides a good upper and lower body workout by utilizing both the legs to run around the court and the arms and torso to swing the racquet.