SPA-tlight: Ray Chan-A-Sue

Ray Chan-A-Sue - October SPA-tlightRay Chan-A-Sue
Head Pro at Vicmead Hunt Club
Wilmington, DE

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Guyana and then moved to Canada for college.

When and why did you start playing squash?
I began playing squash when I was ten-years-old with my father, who was a pretty competitive player in his day. Squash was an activity to do during the rainy season in Guyana, when my original favorite sport, cricket, was in its off season.

What is the best piece of advice you have received from a coach?
To always “expect the unexpected.”

Who is your favorite professional squash player to watch and why?
I don’t have a single favorite professional player that I like to watch; every player has an attribute that makes them ex- citing. However, I would choose Jonathon Power in his prime and Ramy Ashour for their attacking styles of play. On the women’s side, Amanda Sobhy and Samantha Cornett definitely bring the same excitement to the women’s game.

You’re hosting a Club Night in which you bring members of your club to the U.S. Open, What are your members looking forward to most about the big event?
We have been hosting a WSA tournament at our club for four years now, and it has attracted some of the world’s up-and-coming players. I think some of the members look forward to seeing how they do against the best players in the world. Also, seeing the top athletes in their favorite sport is always a treat.

This year’s U.S. Open will once again be hosted in Philadelphia, very close to your home club. How does this impact your squash community?
It’s great for the juniors in our community because they get to see the top level of the sport. Also, because the event is so early in the fall, it gets our members motivated to get back out on the court after taking the break for the summer.

Philadelphia is known as a hotspot for squash. While your club is located in Delaware, it is still quite close to Philadelphia. Do you feel some of the same energy from the U.S. Open and enthusiasm for squash at your home club? Talk a little bit about the growth of squash   in Delaware.
There’s definitely more of an energy this year, as US Squash has done a marvelous job reaching out to the clubs and the pros to get the word out about this spectacular event. As I mentioned earlier, some of the WSA women who have been coming to our tournament will be competing this year, and I know some of the members are very keen to go up to Philly to support them. For a small state with just three private clubs, we do have quite an active squash community. Obviously the juniors continue to be a major area of growth and this has helped the Vicmead Jr. Open to grow every year. Our Wilmington house leagues have remained popular among the adults, and it’s very difficult to get a doubles court in the winter. We also host the US Junior Doubles Nationals and the US Pro Doubles bi-annually.