The world of Squash is celebrating the announcement that England Squash & Racketball (ESR) President Jackie Robinson has been awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Formerly a Vice President of the then England Squash, Mrs Robinson was elected Chairman in 2002, when the organisation was in severe financial difficulties. Her leadership showed persistence and tenacity in challenging times and was a key feature in the recovery that followed. During her tenure, turnover increased by 25% and staffing levels by over a third.
She stood down from the board in 2006 after two successful terms, but continued her involvement when elected President, a post she still holds.
Jackie Robinson’s international links with the sport began in the 1970s with her captaincy of the British Universities team – and in the following decade she became Secretary of the Women’s Squash Rackets Association.
In addition to her role as ESR President, Jackie Robinson is Director of the World Squash Federation’s Championships Committee.
She is also still very active in tennis – as a coach and a fine player, representing Great Britain as a veteran. Furthermore, she is a successful charity fundraiser, hosting her own charity tennis tournament.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Jackie,” said ESR Chief Executive Nick Rider. “She took the helm during a really difficult period and with typical fortitude saw us through to happier times. I’m absolutely delighted for her – this is richly deserved.”
World Squash Federation President N Ramachandran added: “I am extremely pleased to learn of the award of a very well deserved OBE to England Squash President Jackie Robinson. Jackie has served Squash for a long and distinguished time, starting in the Women’s Squash Rackets Federation and then in the amalgamated Governing Body for England where she served as Chairman of the Board before becoming President.
“Throughout these years she has also been a great contributor to and worker for the World Squash Federation. It is wonderful to see this unstinting voluntary service being recognised.”
There was further success for Squash in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with the award of an Order of the Australia Medal (OAM) to Carin Clonda, a founding member and former chairwoman of the Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA).