The WISPA Premiere Series is not related to a prize fund, nor is it a new type of tournament – but ‘simply a new initiative recognising the opportunity to assist new events both in their execution and exploitation of local benefits’.
To qualify as a WISPA Premiere Series event, the tournament will be in its first WISPA World Tour year, and in a country or region where there has either never been a WISPA Tour event before or no existing event.
In addition to the normal WISPA office support service, the association will also offer as much advice and material as possible to ensure that the event runs smoothly.
When on site, the competing players will be aware that they are at a new venue and try to assist with the introduction to local media, spectators and players.
WISPA chief executive Andrew Shelley said: “Whilst new location opportunities for WISPA are immense across the world, we want to offer every encouragement and support to any federation, club or individual that would like to consider bringing international women’s squash to their region or country.
“We have had nine very successful years of annual WISPA Promotional Tours; and the Premiere Series is the next stage. Where we can, we will try to find prize money to help kick-start events, but wherever the funding comes from, the WISPA office and members will do whatever can be done to give the debuting event every chance of success.”
The first WISPA Premiere Series event will be the Icelandair Group Classic in the Icelandic capital city of Reykjavik, later this month – the first ever WISPA event on the North Atlantic island.