Paul Mathieson, Head Squash Pro at Dover Squash; Arshad Iqbal Burki, Assistant Squash Professional at Dover Squash; Jahangir Khan; Mahmud Jafri; Shahid Zaman Khan, Head Squash Pro at Tennis and Racquet Club; Air Vice Marshal Syed Razi Nawab, and Hasan Jafri.
NATICK, MA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2012) - The sport of squash is continually gaining popularity world-wide and particularly in the United States. And although not included in this year's Olympics, it is in contention for the 2020 summer games. According to the World Squash Federation, as of June 2009, there were 49,908 squash courts in the world with 188 countries and territories having at least one court.
For many years, Pakistan dominated the sport -- as home country to international squash phenoms Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan. Now the political instability in Pakistan has created an atmosphere of uncertainty, directly impacting the opportunity for the country to host any major tournaments, or for their talented squash team to obtain travel visas to attend international competitions.
The Pakistani community here in the United States realizes that for these athletes to succeed, they must be given the opportunity to train and participate in competitions. A major effort -- spearheaded by Massachusetts businessman and entrepreneur Mahmud Jafri -- is underway to bring these athletes to the United States since there is an absence of International Squash in Pakistan and lack of International Match Practice. The goal is to support the Pakistan Squash Federation by providing the squash players these opportunities through funding the team's lodging, boarding, and travel expenses as they participate in tournaments throughout the United States.
The Federation will set competitive targets quarterly for each player training in the United States and their performance will be evaluated. This program is expected to polish players' skills and improve their International ranking. Dover Squash & Fitness in Natick will become their training facility at no charge where the players can hone their skills.
On June 24, 2012 Mahmud Jafri hosted the first of several anticipated fundraisers to raise awareness and funding for the team. Jahangir Khan and Air Vice Marshal Razi Nawab were the keynote speakers for the well-attended evening which included a presentation on the program goals. Along with Mr. Jafri, this effort is supported by an impressive committee including: Barry Hoffman, Consul General of Pakistan; Dr. Feroz Mahmood; Dr. Ghulam M. Chaudhry; Steve Columbia, a major supporter of squash; Dr. Jamila Khalil, President of Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England; Shazia Bashir, President of the Pakistan Association of Greater Boston; Paul Mathieson, Dover Squash & Fitness resident squash pro; Hasan Jafri and Arshad Burki.
"Squash is an internationally celebrated sport and a significant part of the Pakistan culture. This campaign will ensure that these talented athletes are given the opportunity to perfect their skills and eventually compete on an international level," states Mahmud Jafri. "The four players selected have impressive career highlights so far and we hope to see them achieve even more in the future."