I have been overwhelmed with emails from around the world and so pardon this slow blog entry. I am grateful, humbled and honored by the United States Olympic Committee’s recognition as the 2011 Developmental Coach of the Year for coaching student-athletes at Concord Academy while simultaneously serving as Director of Kidsquash, a community squash program situated at Harvard University.
On the day I received news of the USOC recognition, I attended a Massachusetts Squash event at Dover Squash and Fitness in Natick, Massachusetts where I was fortunate to reunite with Jahangir Khan, (a legendary squash champion from Pakistan who dominated the sport in the 1980s) and thank him for inspiring me 23 years ago to want to play the sport during an exhibition match against Chris Dittmar in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Engrossed by the long, lively and exciting exchanges between Jahangir and Chris, definitely made an impression on me at a young age, but I never expected it would lead to a national recognition for coaching at Kidsquash and Concord Academy.
The award is a testament to the bright, inquisitive and imaginative student-athletes at Concord Academy as well as the aspiring squash players who participate in the Kidsquash program. Both groups have challenged me to find new ways of teaching and growing the sport of squash. I would like to reach out to thank fellow coaches, faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and members of the Greater Boston community who have all contributed to the USOC’s recognition. In particular, I would like to give my deepest thanks to my family members, in particular my parents, and friends for their support. Also, my mentor and colleague – Coach Bajwa deserves a special thanks for believing in me. I hope this recognition demonstrates the values of teamwork, fair play and opportunity for all.