Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah to Host 2009 Men’s Squash Open
June 22, 2009
For more than four years, Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah has been orchestrating and planning the hosting of the world’s most prestigious squash tournament, the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Men’s World Open 2009, which will be staged in Kuwait from 1-7 November.
The Kuwait Men’s World Squash Open 2009 was awarded to Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah by the PSA and the World Squash Federation (WSF) as a result of her historical endeavours over the last four years of hosting and producing tournaments within Kuwait.
Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah has assembled a team of leading professionals to manage all aspects of event management, under her direction as the President of the Higher Organising Committee.
Robert Edwards, the “Voice of Squash” who has presented, directed and commentated on more than two hundred and fifty of the world’s leading events over the last twenty-five years, will be the Technical Director, Presenter and International TV Commentator. Robert has been involved in all of the events presented by Sheikha Fadyah during the last four years and has forged a strong friendship with her and her family.
Jahangir Khan will be an honoured guest and tournament adviser. Jahangir can lay claim to being the greatest player of any era: Between 1981 and 1986, he won 555 matches consecutively – the longest winning streak ever on the PSA World Tour – and is the only player to ever win ten consecutive British Open titles. He retired as a player in 1993 and has served three terms as the WSF President. Now the Emeritus President of the WSF, Khan is a respected business man with international ties world wide.
Paul Walters, CEO of internationalSPORTgroup, has been appointed as the Event Director for the Kuwait Men’s World Open Squash Championships 2009. Paul Walters and his company enjoy an unsurpassed reputation for excellence within the sports management field. He is an innovator who will work tirelessly to make this the best produced championship in the history of the World Open. internationalSPORTgroup will undertake all event management responsibilities leading up to and during the championships, including but not limited to: strategic planning, event presentation, sponsorship evaluation and implementation. Jamal Al-Qishawy will act as the local manager.
Qualification for the championships will be held in London, England, on the 28th August 2009 at St George’s Hill Squash & Tennis Club. Thirty-two players will compete for sixteen places in the main draw that will be played in Kuwait. The thirty-two players will comprise the twenty highest-ranked PSA players, eight WSF selected players and four Kuwaiti nominated players. The Main Draw of six-four participants will consist of the forty-seven top ranked PSA players, sixteen successful Qualifiers and one Kuwaiti Wildcard, Abdullah Al-Meyzeyan, the Kuwaiti number one who will have the honour of playing the first match of the event following the Opening Ceremony.
The prize fund of US$275,000 is the largest ever offered by any World Open or PSA World Tour event.
The Tournament will stage a glittering Opening and Closing Ceremony as well as hosting an Official Championship Gala Dinner.
Professional Squash Association Chief Operating Officer Lee Beachill said: “The PSA were delighted to award the 2009 Men’s World Open to Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah. Over the past few years Kuwait has produced some of the most spectacular events on the PSA World Tour and we have no doubt, as the prize money suggests, this will the biggest and the best PSA Men’s World Open we have ever seen. Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah and her event management team have a wealth of experience in producing high class squash events and together with the top sixty-four players in the world this is certainly a World Open not to be missed.”
Robert Edwards, who has been an integral part of the success of the Kuwait Open in recent years and has put off his retirement to take part in the upcoming tournament as Presenter and Technical Director said: “Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah has been a great driving force and inspiration in her role as President of the Higher Management Committee. She has grown the sport of Squash in Kuwait over the years and to have reached a level where such a tournament is to take place in Kuwait is a spectacular achievement and quite a coup for the country. I am personally honoured to be a part of it,” expressed Edwards.
Jahangir Khan, the guest of honour, is delighted to be an integral part of the management team after many years of close friendship with the Royal Family.
Hussein Al-Maqseed, President of the Kuwait Squash Federation, commented: “It thrills me that the most prestigious Squash tournament in the world is to be hosted here in Kuwait. Having the best players in the world competing here in Kuwait over the last number of years has inspired our local players. The world media and squash fans will join us in force for the festivities that are planned, to make this the best World Open in history.”
Edwards added: “The Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009 promises to be the biggest and best championships in the sport’s history and will be a fitting climax to the long-term contribution of Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah whose vision and generosity has provided massive opportunity to the world of Squash.”
The Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009 is a showtime tournament and will be shown live on Kuwait TV as well as live on the internet. Two one-hour highlight programmes will be shown around the world by many TV companies including Sky Sports in Europe. International TV coverage will reach something like three hundred million potential viewers. The entire package including the live internet will all be shown under the Kuwaiti banner. “It will be a festival of fun, amusement, laughter and sport,” concluded Edwards.
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