Courting Up A New Sport

After Hard Work From Student-Athletes, A Squash Club is Created


Photo credit: Hudson Lin

Parker Squash Team members practicing their skills.

At Francis W. Parker, sports have always been a part of the culture. This year, Senior Hudson Lin has been working hard to create a new sports team that could hold a place in that culture for many years to come: The Squash Team. Lin worked with athletic director Bobby Starks and dean Joe Bruno throughout the last year about logistics, budgeting and more to make sure that the team could be created. “It takes a lot to make a new team,” Starks said. “It’s important that the team lasts for more than a couple of years and that there will be support for it.”

For his freshman year, Lin attended the University of Chicago Lab school, where they did have a squash team. “Schools like Latin, Lab, and LFA all have squash teams,” Lin said, “so why not create one here at Parker.” Junior Krish Malhotra has been playing squash for a big chunk of his life and has always loved the competitive atmosphere of the sport. “It’s great to introduce students to a sport that’s really popular around the world. It’s one of the fastest growing sports and healthiest sports in America,” he said.

On Monday, February 13, the first practice was held for the start of this new sport at Parker. For this year, squash is considered a club with five practice dates set up running all the way through March. Practices are held at different athletic facilities in Chicago such as Lakeshore Fitness club. “If we get really good numbers at these upcoming practices,” Starks said, “then we can think about turning this club into a sponsored competitive sport.” 

For the first practice, student-athletes that were interested in joining all met at Lakeshore for the introductory practice day. Hudson, along with one of the squash coaches there helped conduct drills for everyone, and get a sense of everyone’s skill levels. The student-athletes learned the rules and then worked on their technique, such as serving the ball or perfecting the backhand.

Lin wants the club to evolve into a competitive team after he graduates. “We hope that even this year, if we gain enough momentum, that we can even host a couple of scrimmages against other schools.” In a scrimmage, the team would compete against another school in a best of five match. This would help student-athletes become accustomed to playing in a competitive environment, even if it’s just casual. Malhotra said, “I think that Parker can make it to the same level as Latin and the other schools. Once the club has been going for long enough, I think it will grow pretty quickly.” 

Squash is intended to be a winter sport, but its recent approval means it will run into spring this year. Lin hopes that next year, it will take place in the winter and that practices will be booked throughout the competitive season. “This club is different from the other clubs at Parker because of the logistics,” Starks said, “but if there’s enough support for the sport, we will work hard to get the right facilities and resources.”

“Squash is the best sport in the world,” Lin said, “and although it may take a lot of effort to turn it into a competitive team, I have faith.”