KUWAIT MEN'S WORLD OPEN 2009: A NEW CHALLENGE By Paul Walters

As the Event Director for the British National Championships , ATCO Super Series Finals and British Open over recent years and following a highly successful 2008 Men’s and Women’s combined World Championships in Manchester, Robert affected an introduction to Sheikha Fadyah Al Sabah in Kuwait and there began a journey of professional intrigue and joy.
 
Since shaking hands with Sheikha Fadyah and agreeing to head up the event management team as the championships Event Director our aim has been to deliver the ultimate World Open. Since then my feet have not touched the ground and over the past year, I have spent more than three months in Kuwait to personally oversee the million and one areas of intricate preparation for a sporting event of this magnitude.
 
With the support of Sheikha Fadyah, we have involved the very best talents in Kuwait and integrated them within a truly international events management team with unrivalled experience and expertise. I can safely say that no better or a more accomplished team has ever been assembled for a squash event in the history of sport.
 
Competitors from twenty six nations will challenge for the ultimate title of World Champion. Here in Kuwait they will enjoy the ultimate standards in facilities and preparation. The Salmiya Club and Green Island, the two venues being used for the championship, will shine in the spotlight of the world’s media.
 
Players and media will be housed in the superb Holiday Inn Kuwait, where they will be warmly welcomed and on Sunday the 1st November we will commence play with twenty-eight matches taking place at the Salmiya Club and the event’s top four seeds opening the show on the stunning ASB all-glass show court at Green Island.
 
A spectacular Opening Ceremony will be staged on Wednesday the 4th November preceding the Quarter Finals, with semi-finals being played on the following evening.
 
On Friday the 6th November, the event will be honoured by a Gala Dinner that will recognise the achievements of some of the sport’s greatest players from the past, as well as players currently competing on the international circuit. Others who have made significant contributions to our sport will also be honoured on the night, with Kuwait as the host and Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah our Hostess, the night promises to provide glamour and special memories.
 
The 2009 Men’s World Open will be televised live throughout Kuwait and the Middle East as well as highlight programmes being shown throughout the world. Matches will also be shown live via the internet and the assembled international media will show Kuwait to a world of sporting fans. Saturday the 7th November will include the final and the Closing Ceremony and will be our finest moment as we crown the new World Champion and sign off in sensational style.
 
I can promise you surprises, joy, laughter, tears and sweat, but most of all I promise you the most professional World Open of all time, featuring all of the leading players from the PSA World Tour and the hospitality and beauty of the host nation – Kuwait.
 
My sincere thanks go to Robert Edwards for the confidence he has shown in me and my team; to Jahangir Khan who in his capacity as Vice-Chairman of The Higher Organising Committee has been involved in every element of event preparation, showing himself to be a Legend in the true sense of the word; to Fahad Al-Ajmi for his friendship and guidance throughout an exciting and challenging journey; to my team for their energy and invaluable support; and finally to Sheikha Fadyah, who as Chairperson of the Higher Organising Committee has shown humility, vision and the qualities of a true leader.
 
Paul Walters
Event Director, Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009
Chief Executive Officer, internationalSPORTgroup Limited

My close friend, Robert Edwards, universally acknowledged as The Voice of Squash, has suggested for some time that I bring my internationalSPORTgroup™ team to the Middle East to help him manage and direct a new and exciting generation events. Having now established ourselves as the leading squash promoter in the UK, the time is right for us to expand into news regions and Kuwait offers us an unparalleled opportunity and challenge.