SquashBusters challenges and nurtures urban youth – as students, athletes and citizens – so that they recognize and fulfill their greatest potential in life.
Founded in 1996 by former squash professional Greg Zaff, SquashBusters set out to connect two seemingly different worlds by introducing the sport of squash to young people in urban public schools.
By connecting these worlds, SquashBusters would provide young people with a bridge to college success, broaden their access to opportunities, and improve their health and fitness.
The program was launched with 24 students from Cambridge and Roxbury. For the first seven years, practices took place at the Boston YMCA, the Harvard Club, and Harvard University.
In 2003, SquashBusters partnered with Northeastern University to build a youth center on its campus. The facility allowed SquashBusters to increase its enrollment and introduce a high school component to the program.
In 2012, SquashBusters expanded to Lawrence, using borrowed courts and classrooms at Brooks School and Phillips Academy. In 2017, SquashBusters launched a third program site in Providence, Rhode Island, thanks to a facility partnership with Moses Brown School.
More than twenty years later, SquashBusters has developed a replicable model for changing the lives of young people.
There are now urban squash programs in more than 20 cities worldwide, including New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit, Oakland, Cleveland, Johannesburg and Toronto.
These programs collectively serve 2,500 young people all over the world with the guidance of the Squash and Education Alliance (SEA).