GREENWICH, Conn. Shahid Khan grew up in his native England playing squash, and then traveled the world playing the sport he loves. Now a Greenwich resident, Khan finds fulfillment teaching the sport to Americans in Fairfield and Westchester counties.
I had a friend who told me of coaching opportunities over here and several other English players were coaches. I started in Philadelphia, but it just happened to work out I got to move to the New York area a year later in 2008, he said.
It really struck me how popular the sport was in the colleges especially the Ivy League colleges. That really gave me the opportunity to teach lessons to kids who wanted to play it in college. Its funny because thats exactly how it used to be in England 20 years ago.
Khan went pro in 2000 and played in tournaments in Belgium, Germany and Hong Kong. His most memorable finish was getting to the semifinals at the Grand Prix in Scotland in 2007.
While he coaches much more than he plays now, Khan will be competing in the Buffalo Wild Wings Westchester Open starting on Friday. The tournament is part of the U.S. Pro Squash Tour, founded in 2009, and features some of the top international and local squash players.
I was a bit surprised when I heard the world No. 9 player (Wael-El Hindi) is playing in the tournament, Khan said. Its great though because it will bring out new people to get interested in the sport and if you already play you want to compete against the best."
Khan teaches at the Club at 800 in Rye Brook. Its something he says he wants to do, as long as I can.
I like teaching someone who has never played before and showing them it can be something they can do for the rest of their life, he said. Its great because when these kids grow older they can say that I was the one to teach them.
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