Harvard’s Georgina Kennedy Wins 2020 Betty Richey Award

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Georgina Kennedy (right) receives the 2020 Betty Richey Award from CSA Executive Director & League Commissioner David Poolman prior to Sunday’s Howe Cup final at Yale University (photo: Michael T. Bello)

Georgina Kennedy, a senior co-captain of the Howe Cup-winning Harvard University women’s team, was awarded the 2020 College Squash Association (CSA) Betty Richey Award, as voted on by the coaches of women’s varsity teams. The award was announced on Sunday afternoon prior to the Howe Cup final at Yale University.

The Richey Award is given annually to the women’s college squash player who best exemplifies the ideals of squash in her love of and devotion to the game, her strong sense of fairness, and her excellence of play and leadership. It is one of the biggest honors in all of college squash.

Betty Richey was a graduate of Radcliffe College, and a standout athlete who was named to the United States women’s lacrosse and field hockey teams multiple times. She began coaching and teaching physical education at Vassar in 1937, and over the next thirty years she launched varsity teams in women’s squash, men’s squash, field hockey, men’s tennis, and women’s tennis. Toward the end of her career she focused more of her attention on squash and was one of the founders of the women’s individual national tournament in 1965.

Over the course of her college career, Kennedy has reached a level of success that is only matched by her most elite predecessors. Through almost four full years of play, she has lost only three times, including once in the Ramsay Cup (National Championship) final during her sophomore year, and she currently maintains a 29-match winning streak. She has won every conference and national award for her on-court prowess, but she also earns praise for her modest demeanor and leadership by example. Her devotion to the game and her teammates comes out in her drive to compete at the highest level and the mark she will leave on the Harvard squash program.

As the rock at the top of their lineup, Kennedy earns high praise from her coaches: “Gina Kennedy has had one of the most successful college careers in history and she was voted co-captain by her peers. Despite her success, Gina is one of the most modest players. She’s a fair and friendly competitor who has left her unique mark on Harvard’s team culture for years to come. As a teammate and captain, she’s a kind and motivated role model who always leads by example.”

Lucy Beecroft of Yale University and Eleonore Evans of Harvard University were the other to finalists for the 2020 Betty Richey Award.