Chorley’s Laura Massaro is preparing for one of the biggest tournaments of her career – and she is not even playing in it.
The squash international star, ranked three in the world, is running her first world class competition at the David Lloyd Fitness Centre in Whittle-le-Woods next month on a court named in her honour.
And it will be a family affair for the British number one as she has organised the tournament with her brother Chris Lengthorn, head squash coach at the national centre in Manchester.
The squash siblings also want to create a legacy for the sport in the borough and will be holding workshops and coaching sessions in junior and secondary schools, culminating with a competition in the lead up to the tournament.
Lengthorn is running four-week coaching sessions at St Peter’s school, St Joseph’s, Brinscall St John’s and Whittle-le Woods primary schools with Southlands High School, Albany Academy and St Michael’s Secondary School also taking part.
Pupils will play at the fitness centre on February 25-26 before being invited back to watch the main event.
The Courtcare Open runs from February 28 until March 3 and is part of the World Tour with prize money of $10,000 (£6,200).
While the tournament won’t attract the game’s elite players, there will be a number of players in and around the world top 20 – including Massaro’s England team-mate Sarah Kippax.
“I’ve played in all of the biggest tournaments across the world but this one is a bit special because we have organised it ourselves,” said Laura, the British champion who recently reached the final of the Cayman World Open and the World Squash Series.
“It’s been quite difficult because it is the first time I have done something like this and you don’t realise how much hard work goes in to it,” added Laura, who lives in Hoghton.
“I’ve always wanted to put something back in to the game and also the club which has supported me throughout my career.”