Arlen Specter US Squash Center
The Raynier Institute & Foundation issued grants in October 2020 to both US Squash ($400,000) and SquashSmarts ($100,000) in their collaborative effort to create the Arlen Specter US Squash Center – the world’s finest community squash center and home to the sport’s national headquarters.
Opening in 2021 on the campus of Drexel University in Philadelphia, the Specter Center will offer expansive community access programs, high-performance athlete training, and championship events that expose the sport to a broad cross-section of players and a national and international audience. The Specter Center will feature twenty courts, a Learning & Innovation Center operated in partnership with SquashSmarts, serve as US Squash’s national headquarters, house the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame, and offer athletes state-of-the-art high-performance development resources including a Coaching Excellence Center.
Once open, the Specter Center will be the flagship for US Squash’s Community Affiliate Program. Community Affiliates increase access by integrating junior, adult, scholastic, and squash and education initiatives in an innovative and sustainable way. The Specter Center will embrace this concept fully and places US Squash within the West Philadelphia Promise Zone, one of 22 neighborhoods nationwide that are part of the U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhood program that seeks to improve education, health, and economic successes for children, their families, and communities. The Specter Center will provide broad access to the sport to new players from all backgrounds throughout the region while modeling programs that can be replicated nationwide.
SquashSmarts is an award-winning youth enrichment program improving the lives of underserved youth from Philadelphia public schools by providing intensive, long-term academic tutoring and squash instruction while imparting high standards of personal integrity, health and fitness, and service to the community. Raynier’s support enables SquashSmarts to expand its youth mentoring and education programs and accelerate the positive change its students make in their own lives and in their greater community.
Raynier’s support allows US Squash to make significant progress towards its vision of people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds enjoying squash, playing the game with a positive spirit, and participating in programs that foster camaraderie, facilitate competition, and encourage healthy lifestyles.