Philadelphia, PA (October 15) – In general, it can be said that there’s nothing retiring about women squash players on or off the court.
Unless, of course, you count former world No. 5 Kasey Brown’s retirement as a WSA professional player, which she planned to occur at the Delaware Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships. But for Brown, there is an asterisk beside her name because she remains president of the Women’s Squash Association (WSA), which oversees the women’s professional tour.
Elected president of the WSA in January, 2014, Brown has been instrumental in pursuing increased prize money for the women and in negotiations with the PSA men’s tour to pursue a merger between the two organizations.
After a career spanning a decade of globetrotting, Brown planned her return home to New South Wales, Australia by moving from her Greenwich, CT residence earlier in the year in preparation for a new career promoting squash to players of all ages and abilities.
Throughout her career, Brown competed at the very top level of the sport against world No. 1 Nicol David and world No. 2 Laura Massaro. In the 2011 U.S. Open in the first year that the tournament was held at the Drexel University Daskalakis Center, she eliminated David in the quarterfinals losing in the finals to Massaro.
However, the most meaningful performances of Brown’s career came at the Commonwealth Games, which Brown describes as the most important squash event in Australia. She has four medals including a gold in mixed doubles with Cameron Pilley.
With an undergraduate degree in psychology and post-graduate study in business, Brown understands the mindset of professional squash players, and she has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of women’s squash.
“Our goal is to increase from a total of $1.4 million in prize money to $2.0 million by next year,” she explained.
It is fitting that Brown decided to retire at the U.S. Open Squash Championships because Delaware Investments is her sponsor and because this tournament was the first major event to offer equal prize money to the women and men. Her final match was a 76-minute five-game battle with Brown eventually falling to Tesni Evans, of Wales, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7, in by far the longest women’asmatch of the tournament.
At the next WSA Annual General Meeting another player will be elected president because it is required that the president is an active player. However, Brown is considering continuing in a different role possibly as a Board member.
Don’t think Brown took off from Philadelphia after her loss. She will be handling the commentary duties for the global WSA broadcast of the semifinals and finals of the U.S. Open. Retiring is definitely not the word to describe Kasey Brown.