In 2018, CIB continued to positively impact the community in which it does business through a key component of its social development agenda: supporting and nurturing the country’s athletic talents. At CIB, we recognized early on the true potential of Egypt’s squash players, who have come not only to dominate world rankings, but completely revolutionize the way the game is being played. This year, we broadened our support of the sport to capitalize on the traction its players are carving out globally. It is our belief that supporting these talents generates more opportunities and value for the Egyptian athletic community and raises the profile of Egypt on the world stage.
The country’s dominant position in the squash world stems from a tight-knit squash community. Egyptian players have introduced a dynamic new style of squash that emphasizes offense and has brought a flood of major honors while entertaining spectators the world over. Egypt’s squash community has produced five world number ones in the men’s game and two in the women’s game. Six Egyptian players are among the world’s top 10 men players and four Egyptians are among the top 10 women as of February 2019.
The squash community embodies the values that CIB strives to instill in its own staff and to promote in the wider community. Young players from all walks of life have had the chance to display their excellence on the global stage thanks to a steely perseverance, openness to competition, support from peers, and the availability of resources. Squash demonstrates clearly what Egyptian youth are capable of achieving in a competitive arena when they have the community’s support and attention.
Sponsorship of Egyptian Squash Federation
CIB maintained its sponsorship of the Egyptian Squash Federation for the seventh consecutive year. The Bank also expanded its commitment by sponsoring the National Women’s and Junior Squash Teams. This support has played a direct role in the national teams’ accomplishments throughout the year, including the fact that the National Junior Squash Team won the World Junior Squash Championship in India for the sixth time since 1994. Almost simultaneously, the National Women’s Squash Team was named Women’s World Team Champion in China, successfully retaining their title.
Currently, Egyptian players hold the Men’s World Team Championship, the Women’s World Team Championships, and the Juniors’ World Team Championship titles.
Sponsorship of Squash Tournaments
CIB has expanded its squash-related sponsorships to open up doors for more Egyptian athletes to progress in the PSA world rankings. The first was the CIB Wadi Degla Squash Circuit, which was held in October 2018 and involved over 40 players from 16 countries. CIB also sponsored the CIB BlackBall Open in December 2018, the first major PSA Platinum tournament to take place in Egypt since the Men’s 2016 PSA World Championship. The event witnessed the participation of 48 top players from all over the world who competed for a prize of USD 180,000. CIB also sponsored the Maadi Club Squash Tournament.
Sponsorship of Egyptian Athletes
In support of young players leading the world’s squash rankings, CIB has created special sponsorships to help six talented players maintain their rankings and continue representing the country around the world. The following players were recipients of these sponsorships:
Ali Farag – 2nd on the Men’s PSA World Squash List
A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Ali Farag has established himself as one of the most popular players on the PSA World Tour. The 26-year old has won 14 PSA titles, including the US Open 2017, Qatar Classic 2018, and most recently the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in January, which will see him move to the World No. 1 spot for the first time in his career in March 2019. Farag managed to reach the finals of all seven tournaments of this season so far. Farag is known for his sportsmanship, as he won the end-of-season PSA Awards, the Fan’s Player of the Season award, and the Spirit of Squash award in 2016 and 2017.
Nour El-Tayeb – 4th on the Women’s PSA World Squash List
Known for her acrobatic playing style, Nour El-Tayeb is one of the most entertaining and consistent players gracing the PSA World Tour. She is the winner of eight PSA titles, a three-time Egyptian National Champion, two-time Women’s World Team Champion, and the 2011 World Junior Champion. El-Tayeb became the third-youngest Tour title winner in 2010, winning a second Tour title in 2011. During her career, she has also won the US Open and Windy City Open. In 2017, Farag and El-Tayeb made history by becoming the first married couple to win a major sporting event on the same day, both winning the US Open.
Tarek Momen – 3rd on the Men’s PSA World Squash List
A graduate of AUC’s School of Engineering, Tarek Momen won his first Tour title at the Irish Open in 2011. He is the winner of six PSA titles, the biggest being the PSA World Tour Gold Channel Vas Open in London 2018. He was a semifinalist at the World Open 2015 in Seattle, finalist at the Qatar Classic Open 2017, and the Tournament of Champions in New York 2018. He was also Egypt’s National Champion in 2009. Momen engineered one of the biggest squash shocks in recent history when he won the Malaysian Open in 2012 despite being unseeded for the competition. In 2018, Momen nabbed the Channel VAS Open title, and in 2019 he won the CCI International.
Karim Abdel Gawad – 5th on the Men’s PSA World Squash List
Karim Abdel Gawad emerged as one of the world’s leading players in the 2016 /17 season. He was the 2016 World Champion and World No.1. Abdel Gawad is the winner of 20 PSA tournaments, and was the 2016 Qatar classic winner, 2017 Tournament of Champions (TOC) winner, and the 2017 World team’s winner. With multiple prestigious titles already under his belt, the 2016 /17 season saw him rake in an astonishing five Tour titles including the World Open to become the fifth Egyptian player ever to top the PSA Men’s World Rankings. Most recently in 2018, he won the CIB BlackBall Open.
Ramy Ashour – 24th on the Men’s PSA World Squash List
Known as ‘The Artist,’ Ramy Ashour is one of the most talented players in the history of the game. In 2010, Ashour became the World No. 1 at the age of 22 – the youngest player to reach that summit in 26 years. With several prestigious titles to his name including three World Opens, Ashour has stunned fans all over the world with his technical excellence, going 49 matches unbeaten in 2012.
Hania El-Hammamy – 17th on the Women’s PSA World Squash List
At just 18 years old, Hania El-Hammamy is already a force to be reckoned with in the women’s game. In 2015, El-Hammamy shocked the squash world to become the first player born this century to lift a PSA World Tour title, and later becoming the second youngest PSA World Tour title winner in history. The young star broke into the world’s top 40 in September 2016. In 2019, El-Hammamy won the British Junior Open and followed this up with two back-to-back titles on the Senior tour.
Partnership with Wadi Degla Clubs’ Darwish Squash Academy
CIB announced its partnership with Wadi Degla Clubs to support young Egyptian squash athletes by developing their skills to enhance their international rankings. The partnership is part and parcel of the Bank’s strategy to support up-and-coming talents from the ground up and builds on our pioneering role in this area. The additional athletes representing Wadi Degla and sponsored by CIB are:
Raneem El Welily – 1st on the Women’s PSA World Squash List
Raneem El Welily is currently the World’s No.1 Women’s Singles player. She snatched her first professional win back in 2009 and has since gone on to win 19 Open titles, including the World Open in Manchester in 2017 where she became the World Champion. El Weleily is also a two-time World Junior Champion and a four-time Women’s World Team Champion. She recently set a record by reaching eight consecutive finals on the tour. Her most memorable achievement was in September 2015, when she became the first player in over nine years to dethrone Nicol David at the top of the World Rankings, becoming the first ever female Egyptian No.1 in any sport.
Nouran Gohar – 8th on the Women’s PSA World Squash List
An immensely talented youngster, Nouran Gohar is currently ranked as the number eight Women’s Single player in the world. She began 2017 as World Number Two. Prior to starting her senior career, Gohar was crowned World Junior champion twice, winning back to back titles in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, she also won her first Open Single title at the Hong Kong Open, a win that propelled her to the number three spot in international rankings for the year.
Squash for Everyone
CIB continued for the second year its “Squash for Everyone” initiative in partnership with prominent Egyptian player Amr Shabana. The program aims to provide underprivileged children with an equal opportunity to practice squash and while doing its role to discover young, rising talents.