British Open Squash tournament all set for Hull's KC Stadium
Tuesday, 04 December 2012
December 4 - The British Open squash tournament, which was revived after a four-year hiatus this year under the sponsorship of Allam, will be staged next year at the KC Stadium, regular home to Hull City football club and Hull rugby league club.
The sport's oldest tournament, recognised as the unofficial World Championships before the establishment of the World Open event, hit financial problems in 2008 but was restored to the world calendar this year when it was staged at the O2 Arena.
Now the world's best players will be noting the dates May 20-26 in their 2013 diaries and preparing to travel to Yorkshire, home to both world number one James Willstrop, and double world champion and three-time British Open champion, Nick Matthew.
Assem Allam, the Yorkshire-based Egyptian businessman and owner of Allam Marine who signed a three-year sponsorship of the British Open in 2011, always planned to move the event to the Stadium at which the team he owns, Hull City, play.
"I am extremely proud to bring this most prestigious of contests to Hull and East Yorkshire as I don't believe the region has ever staged a sporting event of such magnitude before," Allam explained.
"I believe my sponsorship of the Allam British Open is different to most sports because I am involved not for commercial reasons, but due to my long family association with the sport.
"Myself and my brother Galal, a former world champion, have squash running through our veins and that continues to this day with my grandchildren who are becoming very good players.
"When I spoke at last year's winner's ceremony, at the 02 Arena, it was not as a corporate man but as a proud and passionate ambassador for squash.
"This year will be even more satisfying because we are bringing the world's greatest players to Hull and East Yorkshire and so for one week the eyes of the world will be focused on a wonderful sport played at the highest level in a fantastic part of the United Kingdom."
Alongside the top 32 men in the world, the pre-eminent female player of her generation, Malaysia's world Champion Nicol David, returns to British shores to try to complete a nap hand of British Open titles, with four stunning victories to date.
"We're delighted to welcome the Allam British Open to Hull, East Yorkshire, for what promises to be a spectacular tournament featuring the world's best players," Nick Rider, chief executive of England Squash and Racketball, said.
"Dr Allam's support for squash is unequalled and we look forward to delivering an event in his home city that will reward his vision and showcase the sport at its highest level."
Alex Gough, chief executive of the Professional Squash Association (PSA), also welcomed the announcement, saying: "With the British Open seeing a welcome return to the PSA World Tour last year, we are looking forward to another great event next May.
"PSA is excited to again be working with England Squash and Racketball for the event's new location in Hull and would like to thank Dr Allam, the main sponsor of the event again, whose support has been invaluable for the tournament."