Ashaway Racket Strings Sponsors Squash Great Natalie Grainger

March 27, 2008

Ashaway, RI — Ashaway Racket Strings has signed squash great Natalie Grainger to a multi-year sponsorship agreement, company officials announced today. Grainger, who won the US Nationals in March after switching to Ashaway’s new SuperNick® XL Micro, is currently ranked #1 in the US and #4 on the Women’s International Squash Players Association (“WISPA”) Tour.

“Having Natalie as part of our team is a great coup for Ashaway Racket Strings,” said Steve Crandall, Ashaway’s Vice President. “Not only is she a great player and a great coach, but as WISPA President, she is one of the true leaders in the sport and one of the most engaging people around. We expect she will be a force in our industry for many years to come.”

Grainger is a former WISPA world number one ranked player and has been ranked in the top ten in the world for seven of the last ten years. She is President of the Board of WISPA, the governing body for the women’s worldwide professional squash tour. Grainger is also Head Coach for the US Under 23 development program and an advisor to DC Squash Academy, an inner-city youth program that uses squash, combined with academic tutoring and mentoring, to enrich children’s lives. She was formerly the US Junior Women’s Team Assistant Coach, which finished a record-tying 4th at the 2005 Junior World Championships.

For her part, former South African and recently minted American citizen Natalie is also happy to be on the team of the only U.S. string maker. “Ashaway’s been a leader in stringing for many many years,” she said. “I’ve actually used Ashaway at different times for a fair bit of my career, and I’ve always been very impressed with their string. So I’m really happy that they’ve decided to sign me.”

Ashaway Racket Strings are made by Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co., the only U.S. manufacturer of string for squash, tennis, racquetball, and badminton. Operated by the Crandall family since 1824, Ashaway has been making racquet strings since 1949, and is responsible for several important technical innovations. Ashaway is the Official String of USA Racquetball, the Professional Squash Association and the Women’s International Squash Players Association. Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co. also makes braided products for medical and industrial applications.