Presented annually since 1983, the Skillman Award is given to a senior men’s squash player who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during his entire college career. Candidates are evaluated for their on-court poise and demeanor; skill level and ability in the game of squash; team play; contributions to intercollegiate squash; leadership; and cooperation with players, coaches, and tournament officials.
The award is named for former Yale head coach John Skillman, who led the Bulldogs for over forty years. Skillman was inducted into the Men’s College Squash Hall of Fame in 1990. This year’s award was presented at Trinity College on the final day of the 2015 Men’s National Team Championships.
Arriving at Columbia in the squash program’s second season at the varsity level, Tandon immediately made an impact. According to Columbia coach Jacques Swanepoel,”Ramit has been one of the major influences in our team’s improvement over the last four years. He has been the perfect team member throughout his time at Columbia. He leads by example, works hard, and supports team goals ahead of his own.” During Tandon’s tenure, he helped the Lions jump into the top division of collegiate squash and be awarded the 2012 and 2015 Barnaby Award (Most Improved Team). The 2014 – 2015 squad finished the season ranked 4th in the nation.
Individually, Tandon was a First Team All-American and All-Ivy League team member four consecutive seasons. In addition, he was co-Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2012. This season, he was named Ivy League Player of the Year.
After spraining his ankle in the semifinal match at the 2015 Men’s College Squash Association National Team Championships, Tandon was unable to compete at the Individual Championships the following weekend. At this event, he was the runner up in 2012, a quarterfinalist in 2013, and a semifinalist in 2014.
The two-time captain finished his collegiate career with 59 individual victories.
“Ramit’s conduct on and off court has always been exceptional, and through all of his success, he has remained incredibly humble,” states Swanepoel.
Tandon is the first Columbia player to receive the Skillman Award.