Gorgi Squash & Education Center

Opened in December 2017, the Gorgi Family Squash & Education Center is the home of Moses Brown’s boys’ and girls’ squash teams, and the Providence home of SquashBusters, Inc.

Squash at Moses Brown

Moses Brown’s squash team began in 1973, when French teacher David Timms brought together students with some tennis experience to form a squash team.  They practiced in Brown University’s unheated Marvel Gym, and by the end of the decade, MB squash took other prep schools by storm.  They capped the 1981 season by winning New Englands.  Four members of that team played Division I squash, and one–Bill Doyle–went on to coach at Harvard, winning six national championships in seven years with an overall record of 197-7.  In the process, he coached 23 All-Americans and seven national champions.

Nearly 45 years after the MB squash program’s modest beginnings, one of its earliest participants led the effort to create a preeminent facility to nurture boys and girls through the sport of squash.

SquashBusters

In 1996, Greg Zaff founded SquashBusters as a nonprofit organization to use squash as a way of improving the academic and life outcomes of under-served children.  Running it from his apartment, Zaff–who grew up playing squash in Rhode Island–combined a $5,000 grant from the Massachusetts Squash Racquets Association with court time and classroom space from the Boston YMCA, the Harvard Club of Boston, and Harvard University.  His program spawned an urban youth squash movement across the country that flourishes to this day.  Since 1996, SquashBusters has served over 1,000 students, over 98% of whom have attended college.

An Exciting Partnership

Driven by similar missions and shared values, in 2015 the boards of Moses Brown and SquashBusters agreed to create the Gorgi Family Squash & Education Center, one of the leading squash facilities in the U.S., on the Moses Brown campus.  With twelve courts–six for MB students and six for SquashBusters students–Providence children from different backgrounds now play and learn together, forming enduring relationships and strengthening their sense of shared community.

Further increasing the potential of this facility, the Gorgi Family Squash & Education Center includes a public club.  Run by five-time world champion Peter Nicol, and with on-site coaching by resident pro Arthur Gaskin (himself a six-time Irish national champion) the Nicol Squash Club makes recreational play and world-class squash instruction affordable and accessible to the Rhode Island community, opening the sport to new generations of athletes.

 

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