Channel VAS Championship 2016, 06-12 Dec, St George's Hill, Surrey 

  Everything you didn't know you needed to know about ChannelVas...


Last year's
En Bref


What a great pleasure this was once again. Last year, same sponsor, the Channel Group, but the IT Branch, this year the VAS Branch, with CEO Bassim Haidar at the helm, present from every single match from the qualifying. 2015 was a smaller event, but same lovely people to work with...

In particular Danny Lee, heart and soul of the Squash Section, who loves squash beyond reason, and does his job pretty well as well.

He is everywhere, always a smile on his face, nothing is a problem, and working with him
is a pure joy.

So many familiar faces, but the one we worked the most with was Celia, who has made our lives truly easy, again always a smile on her face. Makes a big difference for us all.

And of course, our Favourite Usual Suspects, the SquashTV/PSA Press people, don't know what we would do without you guys, we love you to bits!

Meet our Sponsor

Let's talk about more in depth this year about our sponsor, Bassim Haidar.

Passionate about squash, he is for sure.

Fram: But why that interest for our sport?

"I picked up a racquet about 5 years ago with a friend of mine, never having played squash, and I was hooked right away and I wanted to know more about the game.

"I thought it was so intriguing and so challenging. So a few weeks later, I started to take lessons with squash professionals. At first it was a David Lloyds in Weybridge, but they closed the courts, so I came here and since, I’ve been playing about six times a week with Alex Crouch and Danny Lee here in St George’s.

Fram: There is a big jump between loving the sport and investing thousands of dollars in squash, isn't there?

"There are many reasons for us sponsoring this tournament. The first reason is obviously the love of squash I developed over the years.

"Two, I thought it was a good thing to mix what I love with promotion for my business, and also a support to Charity, a charity I’m very close to. When my daughter Talia had cancer three and a half years ago, it hit me hard, and CLIC Sargent really helped us by supporting her, so I thought why not do an event where  people can enjoy squash and at the same time raise money for Charity.

And if last year was just a little tournament for us to test and see, we then decided to go for a bigger tournament this year.

Fram: You talk about promoting your business. Which is ?

"I own several businesses around the world ranging from logistics to telecom, and Telecom is where I spend about 70% of my time today. Channel VAS specifically is in over 23 countries, it’s a company that is focused on mobile technologies, we provide loans to consumers of the emerging markets, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Asia and we are the premium developer of Mobile Value Added Services for Mobile Operators.

Do you wish to be more involved on the Squash Development scene?

"We want more people to come forward and sponsor bigger tournaments, and at the same time, we need more sponsors to work collectively with PSA to drive more people to come and watch squash because I realised myself, if you didn’t understand squash, you wouldn’t think of it.

"Getting non squash players to us is not easy. There are several factors that come into play, like the venue - if it’s a venue which is visited by a lot of people, with a good location, also if it’s in a town where there are not major events, then they can get a lot of people because it’s an event, and people are queuing to come and see it.

"But in a town like London for example, there are a lot of interests, a lot of things are happening, and squash doesn’t feature as a major interest.

"We need to find a way to get those people past that barrier, learning about squash, experiencing it and then get them into the “squash system.”

Fram: Last three words: squash is...

Brutal, Challenging, Fantastic."

Nuff said. See you next year.

CLIC Sargent


twitter: @StGgeSquash


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