This Saturday morning, members of the Andover community will have a chance to play a game of squash with “Mr. Palfrey and the Boys” — Head of School John Palfrey and the Andover Boys Squash team — as part of a joint effort from Andover Squash and the Lawrence, Mass., branch of the SquashBusters program to raise funds for SquashBusters.
SquashBusters is an urban squash program originally based in Boston, Mass., founded in 1996 by Greg Zaff. It was the first ever afterschool program that combined squash, academics and community service.
Saturday’s event will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. There is no cost to play, but participators are encouraged to contribute a small donation towards the SquashBusters program.
This event is designed to provide a build-up to the main fundraising event on Sunday, which will take place at Brooks. Several high-profile squash players will be playing alongside amateurs and students from Brooks and Andover in a round-robin tournament in the 2014 SquashBusters MashUp event. Professional squash players coming to the even include David Palmer and Thierry Lincou, both of whom achieved World Number One status in the last decade, as well as Clinton Leeuw and Dan Sharplin. Andover Girls Varsity Squash Head Coach Jennifer Elliott and Boys Varsity Squash Head Coach Thomas Hodgson will also be playing.
Andover Girls Squash Captain Madeleine Mayhew ’15 said, “I played in the event last year, and it was so fun. Everyone has a competitive spirit, but plays because they love the sport! And they want others to have access to it as well!”
Andover has had a strong relationship with SquashBusters since 2012, when Andover Boys Squash Head Coach Thomas Hodgson partnered with Zaff to found the Lawrence branch of SquashBusters. The Lawrence branch specifically works with Andover and Brooks to help students from Lawrence develop their academic and squash skills, as well as form life-long relationships.
“Squash is the fun part, but the program is also stresses academic enrichment, character development, service and building community relationships across generations and between local schools and towns,” said Hodgson.
Last year, donations exceeded the $50,000 goal by over $200,000. This year’s goal is set at $150,000. All proceeds will go towards the Lawrence branch of SquashBusters.