This Saturday, the men’s squash team hosted and organized an all-day charity event at Yale with Squash Haven called the “Squash Haven Showdown.”
The Showdown is a 12-team fundraising tournament that has been hosted the past three years in the Brady Squash Center at Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Teams used to be organized by residential colleges, one team per college, but this year the format was shifted to allow the teams to be captained by outside donors. Teams were made up of a local professional squash player, a Yale squash team member, a Squash Haven member and between three and five amateur fundraising players. The event lasted from noon until about 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“Overall, it was a huge success,” Eric Caine ’14 said. “The purpose is to raise money and awareness about an incredible program that’s achieved so much in only a few years of existence.”
Over 270 people have donated to the showdown for a total of over $61,000 raised out of the $72,000 goal.
Squash Haven is an urban squash and mentoring program that provides tuition-free academic enrichment and squash instruction to public school students in fifth through 12th grade from the New Haven area.
“I’ve worked at Squash Haven all four years I’ve been at Yale,” captain Hywel Robinson ’13 said.
In its five-year history, Squash Haven has helped New Haven students of its program attain 15 national-level championships and more than half a million dollars in financial support.
The event attracted professional squash players, Yale students, Squash Haven members and donors and bring them together to raise money to keep the Squash Haven program running.
The squash team has done work with Squash Haven the past several years and many team members are matched up in big-sibling, little-sibling pairs for mentoring, tutoring and squash training.
“It’s a great time for everyone involved, and the money that gets raised helps the Squash Haven staff provide the best experience for these kids during the years that they participate in the program,” Caine said.
The men’s squash team closed its 2012-’13 season ranked No. 4 in the nation.