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Squash players gather in Chicago

UPI News Service, 09/30/2010 

Some of the world's best squash players have gathered in Chicago for the U.S. Open Squash Championships to raise money for a local squash program.

The tournament, involving 100 players, will run through Saturday and will include expo games for local students and a fundraiser for METROsquash, a Chicago non-profit that trains about 100 Chicago Public Schools fifth through 10th graders in the sport and takes them around the country for tournaments, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.

"It's been really fascinating to see this small idea and really wonderful sport expand across the country," METROsquash Executive Director David Kay said.

The sport, which involves rackets, a ball and a four-wall glass court, has been beneficial for participants, students involved in the program said.

Donnie Harris, a Woodlawn Charter School freshman, said the discipline of the game -- he's ranked in the Top 100 nationally of boys under 15 -- and the mentoring and tutoring took him from a "C" to "B" student.

"I'd just figured I'd give it a try," said Harris. "But my grades have improved. My fitness is great, and the program has just really changed my life these last couple of years."

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