The series of three Professional Squash Association (PSA) events will be hosted by New Zealand clubs in 2012, sponsored by Doubledot Media.
The three events will be held at SquashGym Palmerston North, Henderson Squash Club, and Squashways Canterbury (with Burnside Squash Club).
Hosting PSA events in New Zealand provides a valuable support to Kiwi professional players, by giving them access to quality international opposition - as well as all-important ranking points - without the need to travel overseas. The series will provide opportunities to existing professional players to compete and shine, and could also provide opportunities to young players to test themselves against foreign opposition and get a taste of professional squash.
The three events will be 'US$5,000 Challenger' events - one of the lowest tiers of PSA events. However it is planned that the series will run for at least the next three years, hopefully giving opportunities for the events to flourish and grow - both in prize money and in size (holding WSA events alongside them).
Squash New Zealand CEO Jim O'Grady said "I am delighted to hear that that these clubs have decided to host PSA events. After a two year absence, it will be great to see New Zealand back on the PSA calendar - continuing our proud history of hosting international events. In an environment where finding sponsorship is not easy, and PSA hosting requirements have become more onerous, it is a fantastic achievement for these clubs to be running international events, and Squash New Zealand would like to thank and congratulate them warmly for their efforts".
Aside from the obvious benefits to New Zealand's professional players, attracting international talent to New Zealand for three high profile PSA tournaments will do much for the profile of the sport in New Zealand, and generate valuable media exposure. The series will also provide invaluable opportunities to coaches, referees, officials and spectators to witness top quality squash in New Zealand, and reinforce the pathway available to keen squash players of all ages and abilities.
For entry details visit the PSA website: http://www.psaworldtour.com/