Urban Squash MOvement

First State Squash launched in September 2016 in partnership with the Squash + Education Alliance (SEA) — formerly the National Urban Squash & Education Association (NUSEA). The first urban squash program was founded in Boston in 1996, and today accredited urban squash programs operate in 23 cities and enroll year-round more than 2,000 elementary, middle, high school and college students. SEA’s 4 international affiliates enroll an additional 500 students. To be members of SEA, local programs are required to meet a range of criteria which demonstrate that they are organizationally sound and that they provide their students with long-term, intensive, year-round support.

FSS - team photo - May 2017.JPG


First State Squash currently serves 15 - 20 middle through high school students. Each additional year of programming, First State Squash anticipates welcoming a new class of 10 -15 students. First State Squash is guided by an “inch wide, mile deep” philosophy of youth programming and is led by two full-time staff members.


Our intensive, year-round programming begins for students as young as 10 years old and lasts through high school and college graduation. First State Squash enables our students to:

  1. Maintain good health and physical fitness

  2. Serve the community and travel outside of it

  3. Graduate from high school and college

  4. Prepare for post-graduation employment


Owen Butler, Executive Director

Owen Butler joined the First State Squash family in the Summer of 2019 as the organization’s Executive Director. Owen came to FSS after coaching St. Lawrence University’s Men’s and Women’s squash programs and completing his Masters of Education. Before attending St. Lawrence, Owen worked for 4 years at Squash Haven, New Haven’s urban squash chapter, as their Director of Squash and Operations. Owen is a native of Toronto, Ontario and a graduate of Cornell University, where he majored in Natural Resources. At Cornell, Owen was an integral member of the University’s varsity squash program and a captain his senior year. Owen brings to First State Squash a strong passion for youth development and providing students with access to meaningful academic and athletic opportunities.



Ami Patel, Academic Director

Ami Patel comes to First State Squash with a strong background in education having worked extensively for five years in various countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, and England. Her experiences have given her a unique perspective on education development, curriculum planning, and the importance of student agency. Ami triple majored in Anthropology, History and International Relations at the University of Delaware, and received her Master’s in Global Development and Education from the University of Leeds. Ami has learned the true meaning of empowering youth and what it means for their future. Her hobbies include photography, camping, hiking, and cooking. She is delighted to be a part of the FSS team!


Board of Directors  


Todd Anderson

Morgan Stanley

Garrett Moritz
Ross Aronstam & Moritz - LLP

Bob Bolling

RBC Wealth Management

James Zug
US Squash; Squash Magazine


Ed Chilton
Wilmington Country Club

Cory Plumb

Jon Saunders
Christiana Cosmetic Surgery Consultants

Christine P. Schiltz
Parkowski, Guerke & Swayze, P.A.

Aubree Wellons
Dilwyne Designs
Adorn Goods

Tim Wyant
Squash & Education Alliance




Advisory Board

Deborah Bagatta-Bowles

Josephine Bayard

Tina Betz

Chris Buccini

Ray Chan-A-Sue

Rebecca & Mark Collins

Kleon Diamantopoulos

Steven R. Director

Renee & Alex Garnick

Steve Gregg

Buzz Hannum Jr.

Michele Centrella Harra

Dave Henninger

Doug Herrmann

Jamie McConnel

John Osborn

Kristen & Adam Poff

Laura Rossi

Chip Sawyer

Laurisa Schutt

Ethan Townsend

Rod Ward

John Stockard Wellons

Jack Wyant



Central YMCA of Wilmington

An association of people of all ages, ethnic groups and religions that strives to cultivate the human potential, self-esteem, and dignity of all people.  

Longwood Foundation

The Longwood Foundation is dedicated to the people, environment, and communities of Delaware and Pennsylvania.  

Welfare Foundation

The Welfare Foundation uses its assets to promote the social welfare of people in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The Tatnall

The Tatnall School provides a balanced foundation with exceptional academics, outstanding athletics, unparalleled arts and authentic relationships.

Tower Hill

Tower Hill is bound by an understanding that our students are expected to take an active part in school life and, later on, life in the adult world.

Wilmington Friends School

Wilmington Friends challenges students to seek truth, to value justice and peace, and to act as creative, independent thinkers.

Ellice & Rosa McDonald Foundation

In honor of Rosa Hayward McDonald and Ellice McDonald, Jr., generous benefactors and courageous leaders for the causes in which they believed.