USA Racquetball Announces New Athlete Development Program
by USA Racquetball
Colorado Springs, Colorado -- USA Racquetball today announced a new Athlete Development Program designed to help U.S. National Adult Team players as well as those eligible to compete on the U.S. National Adult Team compete more regularly in top-level competition that will further develop them as players and expose them to competitors they are likely to face in international competition.
Beginning immediately, U.S. National Adult Team members; the Champions of the 18 and under Singles divisions at the U.S. Junior National Championships; and U.S. players in the Top 16 of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) singles rankings are eligible to receive $500 for each of up to five IRT or LPRT top tier events and U.S. Adult Team qualifying events in which they compete. Champions of the #1 Singles divisions at the U.S. National Intercollegiate Championships do continue to qualify for the U.S. National Adult Team, if otherwise eligible.
The first IRT event that qualifies for this support is the 36.5th Annual KWM Gutterman Shamrock Shootout taking place outside Chicago later this month. On the LPRT side, the first opportunity for support comes at the UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Championships in October in Minneapolis.
“We are so excited to launch this program to help the best United States players further develop and become more competitive on the international stage,” remarked USA Racquetball Executive Director Mike Wedel. “Our gratitude goes to the donors who are making this initiative possible, and we look forward to working with others to help build additional innovative programs that grow the sport.”
“I’m thrilled that U.S. National Adult Team members and future prospects will have greater resources to compete against the best racquetball players in the world at the sport’s top events,” said Jim Durham, U.S. National Adult Team Head Coach. “There is no doubt that access to more competitive experiences will improve the quality and depth of Team USA.”
T. J. Baumbaugh, LPRT Commissioner and President of the LPRT Board of Directors, shared, “The LPRT is excited to welcome more U.S. players to our events in the United States and around the world. Support for players is key in encouraging future generations to choose to play professional racquetball.”
Mike Grisz, IRT CEO and Chairman of the Board, added, “The IRT welcomes this program to enable more top U.S. players to compete in more IRT events. Having a diverse group of top players from many countries is important to the IRT.”
The USAR Athlete Development Program is being funded by anonymous donors and USA Racquetball. Individual donations for this program and other strategic initiatives of USA Racquetball will make a significant difference, and discussions with USA Racquetball staff regarding such donations are encouraged and appreciated.
Read a full summary of the program on our website. Questions regarding the program may be directed to USA Racquetball Executive Director Mike Wedel.
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About USA Racquetball
USA Racquetball, founded in 1969, is recognized by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) as the National Governing Body for the sport. The association annually conducts six national championships and sanctions hundreds of tournaments for players of all ages and skill levels. USA Racquetball also orchestrates the National Adult and Junior Racquetball Teams, oversees the Official Rules of Racquetball, administers national player rankings, offers a college scholarship program, and supports the introduction of new players to the sport.