Amir Wagih

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Fram's Interviews:  
 Amir Wagih                  

Amir Wagih was Egypt's National Coach. For years, he organised Egyptian Team training, and helped so many players across several generations.

Under his direction, every day at 6pm, you would be able to watch the legendary "come and play" at the Gezirah Club in Cairo, where you would find all the top players battling away.

Amir's achievements are endless, and he is one of the most respected/famous coaches in the world.

At the end of 2012, he left Egypt for the USA.

Find out what he's been up to since...

LATEST ON
SQUASH ON FIRE BUILDING


ATCO Juniors 2010

 

So, Amir, when did you leave Egypt?

I moved to the United States from Egypt in December 2012, after a successful season with the national Egyptian teams.

As you know in the last 15 years, I was the best coach in the world. I won more than 24 world titles as a head coach including 5 world titles in juniors boys and girls individuals and team events.

I also won world titles with the senior women's team in France, and in addition we achieved the individual men's world open title in Qatar.
So, why did you leave?

I left Egypt because I always had the dream to have my world squash academy like Nick Boleteri in tennis.

In 2009, my dear friend Sheik Ziad Al-Turki, the PSA chairman, was first to support me start my dream academy in Egypt as well as my dear friend, Yassin Mansour. He is one of the most successful businessmen in Egypt and he sparked the successful start and we had players coming in from all places around the world.

We were doing great till 2011 when the revolution happened. Since the revolution, the situation in the country was unstable and people were afraid to come to Egypt.
 

Why Washington?
 
In 2012, I got offered by my friend Anthony Lanier - the most successful businessman in DC and known as "Washington King of Properties and Development" - to come to DC and start my own club and academy and make my dream come true.

He's also the father of Camille Lanier which is the captain for UPenn squash team and top 4 on the US and thats what inspired him to start the club for me as he's so passionate about the sport.  I also coach his granddaughters which have great potential of being top players in the future.

He offered to build the biggest and best squash club in the world which will cost $12 million and he has the vision to make DC the capital of Squash as well as the capital of the US.

Also, Islam Fiky, former GW squash captain, was one of the first investors in SOF and he was one of the bravest Egyptian players. He's a huge fan of squash as well as his dad. He had a lot of trust in me that I will make the next biggest thing.
 

What are you up to at the moment?

Currently, I'm also the head coach of the Georgetown University squash team both men and women. I'm also the head coach of National Cathedral School. Our vision when the club opens is to set the squash programs for all DC public and private schools and make squash flourish in the city.

I also asked the World Squash Federation to allow us the opportunity to host the World Junior boys and girls in 2018 as well as many other junior tournaments to have a better squash program for the city.

Are you impressed with Egypt's Results at the moment?

Since 2009 and I've been training many assistant coaches for the future of squash and train the same as the "Amir Wagih style".

Some of my assistance were Mohamed Medhat, Mohamed Abbas, Emad Eretam, Omar Aziz, Amr Mansi, Amr Swelim, Haitham Effat, Ahmed Mohsen and I also left a great generation of players behind to assure that Egypt stays on top of the squash for the next 10 years.

Don't you miss Egypt, being involved in your own country?

I believe that me being in the United States at the moment is more beneficial to Egypt as I have many connections here.

I'm using my connections to bring Egyptian players free scholarships to study in the United States best colleges.

I'm also not just the head coach but a partner in Squash on Fire. We also have huge news as we're planning to announce later in 2016 about having our next Squash on Fire club in Egypt. This will be exciting and will take the squash in Egypt to another level.

We'll be partnering with my friend Khaled Sheta, one of the most successful businessmen in Egypt, to get the project done and which will have a big impact to the squash in Egypt.

Sheta is a lover of squash and was very supportive of the idea. I used to be the coach of all his children as he loved the sport and was always involved. He wants to see the sport get bigger and dreams that it can be part of the Olympics in the future...

So you see, I'm still very much involved in my country...

 

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