Natalie Grainger, Squash Director at Chelsea Piers Connecticut, has been named to the US Squash to the Women’s National Team.
Not only has Grainger earned a spot, she will play in the #1 position for the team in the World Team Championships in France, Nov. 12–17. During the course of her 15-year professional career, Grainger was ranked No. 1 in the world and won 23 tour titles including three U.S. Opens and the Qatar Classic.
She is also a five-time U.S. national champion. Grainger will once again lead the U.S. Team of four players at the competition.
This weekend, Sept. 22 and 23, the Squash Club at Chelsea Piers is hosting U.S. National Team Trials where four players will compete to secure the fourth spot on the team headed to the World Championships.
Vying for the fourth spot on the team is Cece Cortes, who Grainger recently named as a squash touring pro for Chelsea Piers Connecticut. Cortes, who most recently captained the Harvard team to a National Championship in 2012, will train under the guidance of Grainger. Cortes will take part in the WISPA Tour this fall while also coaching at the Club.
“We could not be more proud of Natalie. Being selected to represent the US as the #1 player is a great accomplishment and very well deserved,” said Mollie Marcoux, executive director of Chelsea Piers Connecticut.
“Natalie has been at the top of the women’s game for many years, and we are thrilled to have her at the helm of our brand, new state of the art Squash Club," Marcoux said. "She has helped shape our vision and will help create one of the most dynamic amateur squash program for preschoolers through adults in the country. It is rare to find an internationally ranked athlete who is also a highly talented coach and visionary.”
New Squash Coaches
The Grainger announcement comes as the Club also rounds out their professional staff. Chelsea Piers Connecticut added several coaches to the facility’s already impressive roster:
- John Burke has been named to assist Grainger in managing, developing and running the Squash Club. Burke who served as a leader and top player for Dartmouth’s men’s team in the early 1990’s, has been one of the leading singles and doubles players in the region over the past two decades.
- Supreet Singh joins the professional coaching staff. Singh, a former member of the Indian Junior National team, was a member for the renowned Trinity College team, winning four national Championships during his time there. In his senior year, Singh captained the team. Singh went on to serve as the Varsity Squash coach and assistant admissions director at the Avon Old Farms prep school for the past 2 years.
- Karim Yehia, an Egyptian native who ranked as high as 73rd on the Professional Squash Association’s (PSA) men’s pro circuit, has joined the staff as a Professional Coach. Yehia has years of experience as a Club Pro, having coached at both the New York Athletic Club and the Plainfield Country Club.
- Olivia Blatchford reached the U.S. National Finals in 2011. She also finished second for the USA Squash team in the World Junior Championships in 2011. Olivia is one of the most capped US players having represented Team USA multiple times on both the junior and senior teams.
“I have spent much of my life around squash both playing and coaching,” Grainger said. “The opportunity presented to me to work on the construction of a dream squash facility that will help grow the game throughout the region, giving access to schools, junior players, adult programming and national and international tournaments has been a thrilling experience. I am really proud of the talented coaching staff we have attracted to this outstanding facility.”