Irish Squash and Ulster Squash warmly welcome the financial support from Sport Northern Ireland under the 2023/24 Athlete Award scheme.
Northern Ireland-born squash sensation Hannah Craig, currently ranked 132nd in the World Rankings, has been granted the maximum allocation for the period extending to the end of March 2024.
The Athlete Award is designed to bolster emerging talent by offering additional financial assistance as they embark on a performance pathway for the first time, helping to overcome obstacles in their journey towards future success, and reinforcing their potential on the world stage. Made possible, thanks to National Lottery funding, Sport NI’s Athlete Award has been the catalyst for many glittering careers.
This news is especially significant, given the recent confirmation that Squash has been included in the LA 2028 Olympic Games program. Qualification for the 2028 Olympic Games, as well as the 2026 Commonwealth Games, are major goals for the talented 24-year-old from Lisburn.
Hannah expressed her gratitude upon receiving Sport Northern Ireland Athlete Award funding for the first time, stating:
“The Sport NI Athlete Award funding has come at just the right time for me. With the 2023/24 squash season now underway, I am competing in tournaments around the world in an effort to improve my world ranking. This funding will greatly assist my preparations and my ability to compete in high-level events. The opportunity to become an Olympian has given me renewed drive to reach the pinnacle of the game, so I am very grateful for the support of Sport NI.”
Irish Squash CEO, Scott Graham, welcomed the confirmation of funding, saying:
“I am delighted that Sport Northern Ireland favourably considered our Athlete Award funding application. We look forward to collaborating with Sport Northern Ireland and other funding partners across the island of Ireland to further enhance our high-performance program. This will enable us to expand and direct our support to the most dedicated and talented players with high potential for success in European, World, Commonwealth and Olympic competitions.”
“I also want to thank Ulster Squash for their support and assistance in the application process. Inspirational performances from players such as Hannah, along with a thriving game at a local level, will ensure a continuous stream of talented players capable of achieving success on the world stage.”