Chucktown Squash, a local afterschool program that partners with the College of Charleston, will present its first Chucktown Talks event on Nov. 12, 2014.

Chucktown-Talks_Single-Page-embedThe featured guest speaker for the inaugural event is Maria Toorpakai-Wazir, the top professional squash player in Pakistan whose inspiring story of courage has been featured on CNN and HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St. General admission tickets are $15. All proceeds will go to benefit Chucktown Squash Afterschool Programming. Ticket information is available at

The title of Toorpakai-Wazir’s talk is “Taking on the Taliban.” Toorpakai-Wazir grew up in a conservative region of Pakistan where women are not provided equal opportunities for education and sports. She spent much of her childhood disguised as a boy. Upon revealing her gender identity, she faced threats that forced her family to move her out of the country. She went on to become the No. 1 female squash player in the world and is still highly ranked today. She also started the “One Girl” Foundation to advocate for women’s rights. During her visit she will meet with College of Charleston students, faculty and staff and provide squash demonstrations in addition to her feature presentation.

Founded in 2009, Chucktown Squash is an afterschool program in Charleston that provides children with academic guidance, athletic training and community service opportunities. In 2011, the program began partnering with the College of Charleston. Michael Hemphill, an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, helps facilitate the partnership and serves as an advisor to Chucktown Squash.

RELATED: Read more about the College’s partnership with Chucktown Squash.