The Professional Squash Association (PSA) has launched its new grant scheme designed to increase the amount of international tournaments on the PSA Challenger Tour as the association looks to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PSA has awarded over 15 grants totalling $55,000 to tournaments from nine countries, which will herald the return of international events on the PSA Challenger Tour. Until last month’s HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Chennai Leg 1, the Challenger Tour had been limited to domestic events since the initial six-month suspension of the PSA Tour between March – September, 2020 due to challenges resulting from the global pandemic.
The PSA grant scheme allows promoters to apply for up to $2,500 per division for international Challenger Tour 30 events and below which can be used towards operational costs or prize money.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the PSA Challenger Tour and we believe that our new grant scheme will give some much-needed support to tournament promoters as we look to create a thriving professional circuit,” said PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough.
“Creating greater playing and earning opportunities for our players lower down the rankings has been a key objective for us since before the pandemic and the outlook for international Challenger Tour events is looking very positive.
“I’d like to thank our tournament promoters for engaging with us throughout this process and we look forward to working with them as we bring about the return of international events on the Challenger Tour.”
The Springfield Scottish Squash Open – scheduled to take place in September in Inverness – is one of the tournaments that will benefit from the grant scheme, and tournament promoter Allan McKay said: “We’re very grateful that the PSA is further supporting the 2021 Springfield Scottish Squash Open with this grant. As we build up to September’s event, the additional funding will go a long way towards ensuring we can give players and spectators alike the best possible squash experience and help grow our sport across the Highlands.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a real impact across squash and sporting events, which is undoubtedly going to add increased costs to ensure the safety of everyone involved. The additional support from the PSA will ensure we can maximise safety measures should spectators be permitted come September.”