As the official charity partner of the 2016 NetSuite Open, SquashDrive will be actively seeking support for its new College Prep program over the course of the event.
SquashDrive is an intensive after school, weekend and summer program that uses the unique combination of squash instruction, academic tutoring and community service to help Bay Area public school students reach their full potential. Started in 2010 by Assistant NetSuite Open Tournament Director, Lauren Patrizio Xaba, SquashDrive is modeled after other successful urban squash and education non-profits across the country who have seen 97% of their students go on to college.
“Our program started 6 years ago with a team of 4th and 5th graders. Now those students are in 9th and 10th grades and they’re starting to think about college. SquashDrive’s goal is to help each of them identify and access their best-fit schools, and attract college scholarships,” says Xaba.
The SquashDrive College Prep program will guide students as they explore their college options. It will provide them with opportunities to visit, play squash, and study on college campuses. It will provide standardized test prep classes and financial aid and scholarship application support. Ultimately it will help them prepare and make informed decisions as they apply to schools.
Squash plays a big role in college admissions for some students. 23% of high school graduates of National Urban Squash and Education Association (N– USEA) programs across the country go on to play college squash.
“We rely on the support of the Bay Area squash community to make our students’ college dreams possible,” says Stephen Seelbach, SquashDrive Board Chair. “The funds that we raise over the course of the tournament will ensure our first two classes of SquashDrive students have the support they need to make it in, to and through college”.
SquashDrive hopes to raise $50,000 during the 2016 NetSuite Open through nightly corporate matching events, using a text-to-pledge platform. SquashDrive participants in 9th and 10th grades will be on hand at the event to interact with patrons and players, and to answer questions about their program. Five sponsors have pledged to match up to $5,000 per night in donations from attendees and fans. Sponsors include NetSuite, Growthpoint Technology Partners, Corsair, Latitude 38 Group and a consortium of female corporate executives.
Additional funds are raised each year through a separate SquashDrive Corporate Challenge which features recreational players competing on behalf of their company in a round robin tournament on the all-glass show court.
SquashDrive’s director Xaba says the NetSuite Open has been a fantastic partner in bringing awareness to the sport of squash. “The NSO brings the squash community together like no other event we have in the Bay Area. It is a great opportunity to introduce new people to the game as we see the highest level of squash being played. We are particularly excited that the women’s division of the tournament has been enhanced this year which in turn has attracted some real heroes of the sport to San Francisco for our young girls to meet and be inspired by!”
Every year, SquashDrive gives the program’s best students the opportunity to be the ball girls and boys for each night at the glass court during the NetSuite Open event and to participate in squash clinics hosted by the pros.
“Making an investment in the future of squash is one of the best parts of my job as tournament director,” said John Nimick, President of Squash Engine, Inc. & NetSuite Open Tournament Director. “This year’s expanded partnership with SquashDrive is energizing every aspect of the tournament and giving fans and sponsors a shared goal – to enhance the lives of urban kids in the Bay Area.”
SquashDrive’s mission is to promote academic, athletic, and personal growth through a program of squash instruction, individual academic support/tutoring, health and fitness instruction, and community service. For more information visit www.squashdrive.org.
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About Squash Engine
Squash Engine, Inc. is a visionary event and entertainment marketing company specializing in the creation of unique athletic, musical, corporate and philanthropic events in extraordinary venues. Founded in 2000 by US Squash Hall of Fame member John Nimick, Squash Engine, and its sister company Event Engine, has grown from the management of a single, but unique, annual professional squash championship in Grand Central Terminal to a portfolio of successful events in some of the best known locations in North America and with some of the best-known entertainment celebrities in the world. The Squash Engine mission is to provide an unparalleled, highly valuable, highest quality result for clients, customer and corporate partners.
About the NetSuite Open
The NetSuite Open Squash Championships will be contested for the 5th year in San Francisco at the South Lawn of Justin Herman Plaza on an all-glass portable squash court from September 27 – October 1, 2016. Sanctioned by the Professional Squash Association, the PSA International 100 Men’s event and the Gold 50 Women’s event combine to make the NetSuite Open one of the top 12 professional tournaments in the world as determined by prize money. Early rounds and featured activities of the tournament are hosted by the Bay Club Company’s Northern California clubs, the University Club, and the Olympic Club.
Tickets for the 450-seat arena range in price from $30 to $250. For tickets, draws, schedule and more information, please visit www.NetSuiteOpenSquash.com. Follow the NetSuite Open on Facebook and Twitter.
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