The Women's Squash
Association is hailing
the 'wonderful commitment' by Dr
Assem Allam to extend the
sponsorship of the prestigious British
Open in Hull for
a further three years, including the goal to provide prize-money parity
British Open Squash Championships are
set to return to the Yorkshire city for a further three years after Dr
Allam signed an agreement with England
Squash & Racketball to
continue as title sponsor of the most prestigious tournament in squash.
The three-year agreement will keep the
event named 'a national treasure' in Hull until 2017, the year the city
will take the spotlight as the UK
City of Culture.
The deal will also guarantee equal prize
money for the women's event by 2017. Dr Allam, who has raised prize
money for the women's event year-on-year since 2012, promises to match
the total women's prize fund with the men's.
Often referred to as the 'Wimbledon of
Squash', the Allam British Open will be held at the Airco
Arena in Hull between
11-17 May 2015 and will attract the world's best squash players
including England stars Nick
Matthew, the three-time world champion from Sheffield, and WSA board
member Laura Massaro,
winner of both the World
Championship and British
Open in 2013.
"I am very happy to
support the Allam British Open for a further three years," said
Dr Allam at the signing. "This
event is truly a 'national treasure' and it is fantastic that this
three-year deal will take us to 2017 when Hull will take the spotlight
as the UK City of Culture."
WSA CEO Tommy
Berden added: "With
a rich history going back to 1922, the British Open has always had a
special place on the WSA World Tour and now we are delighted that its
future is assured for the next three years thanks to this wonderful
commitment by Dr Allam.
"It is especially rewarding that Dr
Allam's vision includes prize-money parity and we look forward to
working with his team to fulfil his dream of establishing this 'national
treasure' in Hull."
Massaro, who joined
Dr Allam at the signing (and is pictured during a TV interview after the
launch), said: "I'm
always happy to come back to Hull. I had a great win here in 2013 and
will be hoping to repeat that this year. I am also pleased that with Dr.
Allam's support this important tournament will achieve equal prize money
for men and women by 2017, a step that will hopefully encourage
tournaments across the world to do the same."