This season, U.S. SQUASH has introduced the Squash Professionals Affiliate Program (SPA). With this program, U.S. SQUASH will offer personal liability insurance coverage to qualified squash professionals for coaching, access to a pre-screened, preferred network of health insurance providers, financial incentives for membership based on the number of members per court, discounted sanctioning fees, use of U.S. SQUASH for online entry offering discounts for players, waived sanctioning fees for U.S. SQUASH League and Ladder programs, free admission to the U.S. SQUASH Professional Development Conference (formerly “Coaching Conference”), the opportunity to sell U.S. SQUASH merchandise and co-brand in pro shops, and access to the U.S. SQUASH “Job Network” and “Professional Practices,” an online collection of best practices for coaches and pros, and regional professional mentoring, and support and advocacy for professional development at clubs.
Chris Spahr, currently the Director of Squash at the University Club in Boston, MA, took some time off to answer a few questions from Squash Magazine about his participation in SPA.
Who introduced you to squash?
My father, Kit Spahr, was the one who first showed me the game when I was 5 years old at the Merion Cricket Club.
When did you start teaching the game?
When I was 22 at the Merion CC under Bill Lane. I was simultaneously teaching at a funky squash club at an old hotel in downtown Philadelphia.
Why are you a part of SPA?
Any program that benefits squash and its growth are important and worthy of support. The more pros and coaches that get involved, the better it is for the sport. We know this is the best game on the planet, we want everyone else to recognize this.
Where did you play college squash?
Franklin & Marshall
What teaching pros would you say was most influential in your growth?
In the beginning it was Bill and Julie Lane at the Cricket Club. They saw something in me at an early age and encouraged me to become a teacher of the game. Joe Coyle was also a great influence on me. Peter Briggs was someone I sought out for advice on how to start a junior program. Tom Poor has also been an important factor in my growth as a squash professional.