Our aim is to promote widely the game of squash at Stanford and on the west coast with a broad range of programs to benefit the Stanford community as well as the surrounding communities.
The broad scope of our Program with the high level of student and community involvement makes it immensely rewarding for all involved. It is unique and one of its kind in the nation.
The squash program was founded by a handful of enthusiastic undergraduates in 1998. Their determination and heroic efforts played a significant role in the building of new state-of-the-art facilities at Stanford and the luring of Mark Talbott to Stanford in 2004 to head the squash program as the Director of Stanford Squash.
The scope of our Program has since been broadened to include the following 3 areas: (1) Develop the women’s and the men’s teams to achieve excellence, (2) Promote the game of squash at Stanford community as well as community at large, and (3) Provide an urban squash program to combine academic enrichment and squash play for kids from underserved neighborhoods.
Both the Women’s and the Men’s Teams have become nationally competitive teams.
The Women’s Team has acquired the varsity status since 2005, the first and only varsity team west of the Mississippi. Their national ranking has risen steadily to #6 in 2010 out of the thirty-five nationally ranked teams. The increasing number of top recruit requests is a testament to the success of our program and the high quality of education offered at Stanford University.
The Men’s team remains a club team due to the constraints of Title IX. They are considered the nation’s top club program. In 2010, they were the #1 club team, and finished #26 out of the sixty five varsity and club teams.
The members enjoyed many benefits including top quality full time coaching, physical training, academic advising, national intercollegiate competition, travel, equipment, uniforms, and not least of all, forming life-long friendships. They also learn to give back to the community by participating actively in a community outreach program to bring kids from underserved communities to Stanford for a program that combines academic enrichment as well as squash.
University-accredited squash classes are offered by Coach Mark Talbott to undergraduates and graduate students.
All faculty, staff, and students at Stanford have free access to the use of the courts and have the opportunity to participate in ladder competition and various other tournaments.
Community at Large
A Stanford Squash Club has been established for those who are not a part of the Stanford community. It currently has over 100 members. They have the privilege to reserve courts for their use and participate in recreational or competitive ladder competition.
The members also have the opportunity to compete in 4 different divisions in the Bay Area Squash League. Annual tournaments as well as weekend training and round robins are part of the program.
Squash Camps for Teens: Taught by Coach Mark Talbott and staff during the summer.
URBAN SQUASH PROGRAM FOR KIDS
This community outreach program is an after-school enrichment program that combines the exciting sport of squash with innovative academic programming for middle and high school students, especially those from underserved neighborhoods. The goals are to improve health and fitness of school age children, enhance their academic performance and personal development, and help them develop good citizenship through community service.
The game of squash is highly aerobic, is easy to learn, and is fun for young people. The activity provides great health benefits, including physical and emotional well-being, in addition to other indirect benefits including learning, work ethic, and commitment, among others.
The academic component follows the concept of a mini-college. It includes the learning of a variety of subjects including sciences, humanities, business, among others. There are a series of mini-classes, emphasizing hands-on and interactive activities, including experiments and demonstrations. There are also visits to various laboratory facilities on the Stanford campus.
A non-profit 501 c(3) organization has been established to support the program. Coach Mark Talbott, and TW Wiedmann, Ph.D., a former faculty at Stanford Medical School, direct the program. The members of our squash teams and other Stanford students volunteer their services to work with the kids and serve as mentors.
The program was initiated in 2007. Fifty plus kids have participated in the program. They were selected from 3 middle schools in Redwood City serving economically challenged neighborhoods. Our plan is to continue to expand the program to reach more deserving kids.
Squash Clubs have also been established in high schools, organized by the high school students. Specific hours are reserved for the members to use the courts at Stanford.
With the broad range of programs in place and envisioned, the availability of court space is becoming a limiting factor. We plan to initiate an effort to expand the current facilities to include outdoor, open-air courts to keep up with the growing demand.