A youth squash program in the Bronx called CitySquash is giving young athletes in New York City's poorest borough a ticket into a world of opportunity.
The sport of squash, like lacrosse or crew, carries the taint of privilege. When you think of squash players, you picture well-off white men flitting about in polo shirts. Tim Wyant, though, is trying to change the idea that squash is a rich man's game. But for his current purposes, it is not an entirely unhelpful stereotype.
In 2002, Wyant launched a youth squash program in the Bronx called CitySquash, which gives young athletes in New York City's poorest borough a ticket into a world of opportunity. "If you're an inner-city kid and you play basketball, you're placed in a box," says Wyant. "But if you're a kid from the Bronx and you're playing on your boarding school's squash team, you might be stigmatized as a squash player, but that's the opposite stigma of being the kid from the Bronx."
In the last four years, CitySquash has helped place 21 team members in top-tier private high schools, including St. Paul's, Loomis Chaffee, and 13 others. The combined financial aid promised to these students exceeds $2 million, more than three times CitySquash's annual operating budget.