Squash at the mall for the JK Windsor Cup

There’s a different kind of squash at Devonshire Mall this week.

The sport, not the vegetable.

Squash players have come to Windsor to play in four tournaments. The idea of hosting squash at the mall was borrowed from a professional tournament hosted in New York City.

“We went to New York’s Grand Central Station, where a pro PSA event was taking place,” said Anis Khan, CEO of the Jahangir Khan (JK) Windsor Cup. “It was one of the best events that I have seen so far. After that event, I said, ‘It has to happen in a mall where we can pull the crowd.’ No other location in Windsor is as crowd-pulling as Devonshire Mall.”

A woman speaking to a reporter in front of a squash court
Sara Khan is participating in the inaugural Jahangir Khan (JK) Windsor Cup at Devonshire Mall. (Darrin Di Carlo/CBC)

The tournaments will see some of the top players on the professional circuit play for the inaugural JK Windsor Cup, the winner of which will receive $50,000 U.S. Future stars will participate in three PSA Challenger Tour events taking place alongside the professional invitational event.

Matches will be played at Devonshire Mall where the food court used to be, as well as the Windsor Squash and Fitness Club.

“We used to have about 105 juniors pre-COVID, down to about 45,” said Khan. “A few months ago, we started calling up the juniors. We started with about 15 to 20, and now we are up to close to 50 juniors.”

The Jahangir Khan (JK) Windsor Cup is being held at Devonshire Mall until August 21 to entice more people to play the sport.

Khan’s main goal is to make sure the future of Windsor and Canadian squash is safe.

“It’s more about what can be done to our community in terms of promoting youth development,” he said. “That was my vision, to make sure that we promote this sport to more of our youth. And I hope after this event that the job will be accomplished.”

With only one club in the city, the squash community in Windsor is very close.

“We’ve been playing with each other for 10 to 15 years,” said participant Sara Khan. “Windsor squash is a nice community to be with. Once you go on the court, people will play with you. If you’re on the court alone, people will hop on the court and train with you if you need it.”

The final day of play is Sunday, August 21.

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