Kuwait World Open starts in Surrey
Details of the Kuwait Men's World Open have been
with the event set to start with qualifying in Surrey,
more than four years, Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah has
been orchestrating and planning the hosting of the world’s
most prestigious squash tournament, the PSA World
Open 2009, which will be staged in Kuwait between the
1st and 7th November.
The event was awarded to Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah by the PSA
and the WSF as a result of her historical endeavours over
the last four years of hosting and producing tournaments
Qualification for the championships will be held in London,
England on the 28th August 2009 at St George’s
Hill Squash & Tennis Club, where thirty-two players -
the twenty highest ranked PSA players, eight WSF selected
players and four Kuwaiti nominated players - will compete
for sixteen main draw places in the main draw to be played
Abdullah Al-Meyzeyan, the Kuwaiti No.1, has been
awarded a wildcard place into the main draw and will have
the honour of playing the first match of the event following
the Opening Ceremony.
The prize fund of US$275,000 is the largest ever
offered by any World Open or World Tour event.
Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah has assembled a team of leading
professionals to manage all aspects of event management,
under her direction as the President of the Higher
Robert Edwards - The Voice of Squash - has been an
integral part of the success of the Kuwait Open in recent
years and has put off his retirement to take part in the
upcoming tournament as Presenter and Technical Director and
International TV Commentator,
Jahangir Khan can lay claim to being the greatest player
of any era and will be an honoured guest and tournament
Paul Walters, CEO of internationalSPORTgroup™, has been
appointed as the Event Director.
Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009 promises to be the biggest and
best championships in the sport's history.
"and will be a fitting climax to the long-term contribution
of Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah whose vision and generosity has
provided massive opportunity to the world of squash.
"It will be a festival of fun, amusement, laughter and
"The PSA were
delighted to award the 2009 Men’s World Open to Sheikha
"Over the past few years Kuwait has produced some of the
most spectacular events on the PSA World Tour and we have no
doubt, as the prize money suggests, this will the biggest
and the best PSA Men’s World Open we have ever seen.
"Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah and her event management team have
a wealth of experience in producing high class squash events
and together with the top sixty-four players in the world
this is certainly a World Open not to be missed."
PSA Chief Operating Officer
2008 Champion, Ramy Ashour
his tie gone long before he had arrived, Joshua Gary needed only
a few minutes to change out of his public high school’s
mandatory black sweater and slacks and into his squash gear:
white shoes, shorts, clear protective glasses. Screeches of
excitement and sneakers echoed across the eight courts as he
joined Jamel Key, 17, and Jennifer Moses, 18.
The three college-bound seniors from Thurgood Marshall Academy,
friends since junior high, dodged and glided their way to and
from the red “T” at the center, the ball hugging the right wall
with each shot.
Less than two weeks remained before they would graduate from
StreetSquash, an intensive program that combines athletics and
academics, and they seemed to be getting in all the shots they
could. Each of the students would be heading to college, but
none where they could play squash for their school.
StreetSquash En Bref
I don’t like tubes, ok? I do like buses, but I don’t like tubes. So
from Grand Central, I had decided to take a taxi to go to the
StreetSquash facilities, off the 5th Avenue, but far far away from
the 5th Avenue that your mind is picturing.
But Simon Rosner was on his way there to play the second match, and
he insisted for us to take the tube. All right I said. “You’ll see,
it’s simple!”. Yeah right, I had to go upstairs, downstairs, change
lines, with my three tons bag, and my bad knees… I was cursing him,
bless him, and he was laughing his head off.. Boys….!!!!
Still, we arrived very quickly – I give him that – and were welcomed
by Sat, one of the staff members. I was immediately impressed by the
light and the intelligent construction of it all. It’s such a modern
building, so bright, so easy to circulate.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Well, make no mistake. It’s not a recreational place for kids to
come round whenever they feel like it. No, it’s an academic place,
where attendance is the Key Word, and where school primes on
everything else. But, on top of their schooling, or of their summer
schooling, they play and learn about squash.
StreetSquash participants have a varying range of academic aptitude
and performance. They select participants based on commitment and
effort, rather than on performance. They look to work with students
who are diligent and committed to learning and improving, and offer
middle school, high school and one-to-one tutoring.
The rules are strict, and followed by all. The place is spotless, no
food or drink (except water) on the premises, no messing around, and
yet, you can feel the kids having the time of their life: they are
busy, they are learning, people are caring for them, for their
education, for their welfare.
For their future….
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Needless to say people that all what they provide is free for the
kids, and they basically give a chance who those that don’t have
any. Needless to say StreetSquash needs money to do that. Needless
to say they need you, SquashSite readers, and all the people that
you can think who could help that great project.
I just loved the place. I loved the concept, and the thought behind
it. These people believe in those kids, they believe that they can
have a bright future. And to be able to do so, they need to be
Maybe you squash players can organise exhibition matches there, to
really get them enthused. Maybe you can help with getting public or
sponsorship money to them? Or simply, maybe you can click on their
donate page. And help them.
Whatever you’ll do, thanks.
World Squash News Celebrates 5,000
World Squash News service - sponsored jointly by the WSF, PSA
and WISPA and produced by Howard Harding - celebrated a
notable milestone at the weekend by producing its 5,000th
Launched in October 1996, the sport's international media
service has chronicled countless championships from the
flourishing PSA and WISPA World Tours across all five
continents; it has highlighted day-to-day news of more than 600
players competing full-time on the men's and women's Tours; has
covered numerous WSF world championships across all age-ranges,
in addition to the sport's presence in all but one of the major
multi-sports Games around the world; and has nurtured the
sport's long-time bid to join the Olympic Games programme.
The 5,000 reports over the past twelve and a half years
highlight the fact that the sport - which boasts some 20 million
players worldwide - has generated an average of more than one
international news story each day over the period.
"It was an inspired initiative back in 1996 that brought the
three key international bodies in Squash together to coordinate
this vital news service – one which has ensured that the world's
media have been able to rely on a steady diet of newsworthy
material from the sport," said WSF Vice President Frank van
PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough agreed that the service
had reached 'a huge milestone':
"The world of squash has been very fortunate to have someone as
professional and diligent as Howard Harding over the past
12, nearly 13, years making sure that the game's news has been
heard loud and clear across the planet. The game has grown a lot
over this time and Howard has done brilliantly keeping with the
demand and responsibility."
WISPA Chief Executive Andrew Shelley also remarked:
"Squash needs to have a reliable, accurate and timely media
service. For nearly thirteen years squash we have certainly had
that. Every medium knows that they will receive all important
news and results so that they can use it all or sift for their
"It is a service that squash cherishes and we are delighted to
acknowledge the 5,000th release milestone from World Squash
Media Director Howard Harding.
"As squash expands we look forward to the 10,000th coming along
Carla Coaches in Iran
Khan, the former world No.18 who is making a comeback after
a long period of injury, paid a visit to Iran to coach the
Iranian girls' squad for a week at Enghelab Squash Club, the
most famous and the biggest squash club in Iran, managed by
The initiative, which came shortly after the Iranian National
Championships, was tied in to the Olympic 2016 bid and also
included a tournament, organised by Masoud Ghareh Ziaeddini,
tournament director of the Iranian Squash Federation.
Iranian Nationals 2009 (Men):
ali reza sanai bt sajjad zarrayan 3-0
sohail shameli bt ali reza shameli 3-0
mohammad hossein jafari bt aryan etimadi3-0
saeed ketab foroush bt parham zarryan 3-0
masoud ghareh ziaeddini bt pooryazarryan 3-0
mahyar abrishami bt ali ismaili 3-0
ali ketabforoush bt abdol reza zia kashani 3-2
mohammad reza sadeghpour bt amir hossein jamalizadeh 3-0
a.r.sanai bt s.shameli 11-9,13-11,11-7
m.h.jafari bt s.ketab foroush 11-2,11-2,11-4
m.g.ziauddini bt m.abrshami 11-6,11-5,118
m.sadeghpour bt a.ketabforoush 11-6,11-5,11-7
m.h.jafari bt a.r.sanai 11-7,11-3,11-7
m.sadeghpour bt m.g.ziauddini 11-4,11-6,11-8
m.r.sadeghpour bt m.h.jafari 11-4,11-6,11-9
Ricketts for the All Blacks ?
Gary Denvir reports
The All Blacks won't have to look too far if they want to fight
fire with fire on the fitness front with the Wallabies.
News emerged across the Tasman last week that Wallabies coach
Robbie Deans, always on the lookout for an edge over his
trans-Tasman rivals, has sounded out two time world squash
champion David Palmer about a conditioning role with the team.
Palmer is revered on the world squash tour for his remarkable
stamina, and Deans believes he may be able to help alleviate the
Wallabies' second half fadeouts.
man who can attest to Palmer's fitness is Squash New Zealand
coach Anthony Ricketts. Palmer and Ricketts were
team-mates when Australia won the World Team Squash
Championships in Austria in 2003. Ricketts is not at all
surprised at Deans' interest in his former team-mate.
"He really is an amazing athlete and I doubt there is anyone
more deserving of the opportunity being presented to him."
Like Palmer, Ricketts has a reputation for being ruthlessly
dedicated to his training regime, earning him the nickname 'the
Machine". So much so, former World Champion Geoff Hunt described
him as "perhaps the fittest player I have seen".
Could that result in a call-up from the All Blacks, in a bid to
neutralise the Wallabies tactics? Ricketts doesn't think so.
"It's an interesting thought, and I would definitely be keen if
it fits in with my Squash New Zealand commitments. But I suspect
the All Blacks already have some pretty switched on people
working on the players' fitness, from what I have seen in the
past couple of years."
The ball is now in the All Blacks court ...
Ricketts & Palmer to renew rivalry as Rugby coaches ???
Deans' secret weapon
to squash All Blacks
for any edge over the All Blacks, Australia's Rugby Union coach
Robbie Deans has sounded out Australia's two-time world
squash champion David Palmer for a conditioning role with
Deans, a squash fanatic who plays A grade in Sydney, believes
the freakishly fit Palmer could help alleviate the Wallabies'
With the annual trans-Tasman series locked at 1-1 last year, the
Wallabies established useful leads over the All Blacks in the
third and fourth Bledisloe Cup Tests only to be over-run in the
closing quarter of an hour in both games.
Palmer is revered on the world squash tour for his remarkable
stamina, a quality Deans is hoping to instil in the Wallabies in
his second season in charge.
The idea of calling on his expertise arose when former world
number one Palmer gave Deans the runaround on court at the
Sydney Football Stadium complex.
Topping the torture test
training, Palmer has been known to complete the beep test - a
torturous multi-phase fitness drill often used by footballers -
five times back-to-back with just a three-minute break in
"It's bloody hard, one of the hardest things I've ever done
physically and mentally," Palmer said. "But that's what squash
is all about; it's about being pushed to your max and how fast
you can recover and how many times you can go to that breaking
point and keep coming back."
Deans said some Palmer punishment was just what his Wallabies
"Teach them about perseverance; how do you keep going when your
legs are gone. That's what our blokes need to learn," Deans told
media on Thursday.
"Staying composed when fatigue strikes. It's a big advantage.
The strength is minimising that recovery time.
Relates to rugby
doubt squash is actually one of the better forms of conditioning
for rugby because of the footwork and the qualities David
alluded to; perseverance, spacial awareness, mental resilience -
intimidation is a big part of it.
"There's nothing better. It's actually great for defensive
technique as well."
Palmer, who has done some work with NRL heavyweights the
Melbourne Storm, said he would love to assist the Wallabies when
there was a break in his schedule.
"Definitely," he said. "I follow the Wallabies, the sports are
similar: they're non-stop, there's no breaks, it's up and down.
"There's so many different aspects to squash. Its endurance, its
speed, there's flexibility, there's tactics, there's the mental
side - the tactical intimidation.
"It's like playing chess at a million miles an hour. It's not
like other sports where you get time to think about your shot.
It's so fast it's such a reflex instinct type of game.
"Using the squash type of training in rugby would be
April 2009, Hong Kong:
Thousands of kids support
the Fujifilm Mini-squash Carnival
for kids aged between 6 to 12, the Fujifilm Mini-squash
Carnival received a tremendous response from the general
public at the annual carnival held recently at Kowloon’s
Plaza Hollywood shopping mall. Thousands of children,
parents, teachers and passers-by went back home full of
enjoyment and excitement after experiencing a memorable family
day in squash.
A variety of fun programmes were designed to promote mini-squash
at the event, including various Game Booths relating to
mini-squash activities, Mini-squash Novice Competition at the
3-sided clear-view portable mini-squash court, playing fun game
with celebrities, lucky draw, and more.
very special guest the mini-squash mascot “Siu Chiu” was
definitely the most popular character at the event where she
captured thousand films from the children.
Besides mascot “Siu Chiu”, well-known HK Women’s No.1 Rebecca
Chiu and Asian Junior Championships Bronze Medalist
Liu Tsz Ling had also come to support in person at the
Squash Clinic, which provided a golden opportunity for the kids
to learn squash from elite players.
the day, over 300 kids collected their medals and Fujifilm
prizes for their excellent results achieved in the previous
Inter-school Mini-squash Team Competition.
To support the Squash 2016 Olympic bid, HK Squash Chairman
Mr. David Mui also highlighted the key message of the squash
dream in his speech at the carnival's final ceremony and urged
the participants to support the bid for squash to be included in
the 2016 Olympic Games.
Squash Eyes 2016
From Around the Rings
The sport of squash yesterday moved a step closer to its goal of
becoming one of the sports included in the Summer Olympic Games,
as the World Squash Federation (WSF) submitted its response to
the 80–question Olympic Programme Review questionnaire.
Squash, played in 175 countries by over 20 million people, has
made a strong case for itself by virtue of the fact that it can
be easily integrated into the Olympic Games, wherever held.
Requiring just two glass courts that can be located anywhere, it
is an extremely cost effective and highly exciting spectator
sport. Few can doubt the skill and fitness required to play at
the top level.
Squash can also state with certainty that an Olympic medal would
be the highest honour in the sport, bar none. This is further
endorsed by the fact that all of the sport’s top players have
signed a pledge to compete at the Olympic Games if selected.
The questionnaire responses highlight how Squash can help take
the Olympic Games into new markets; many of the sport’s top
players hail from countries which do not traditionally produce
Olympic medalists. The World Champions come from countries which
managed just two Olympic medals between them in Beijing (Egypt
Surprisingly squash has never been an Olympic sport, though it
narrowly missed out in the run-up to the London 2012 Games.
Squash will be competing against six sports for one of two
possible places for new sports in the Olympic Programme for the
Scott Garrett, Squash 2016 Bid Team Manager said, “We are
delighted with the case for squash which we have put forward in
our questionnaire responses and we are confident that we are
able to present strong arguments in all areas.
Added Mr N Ramachandran, President of the World Squash
Federation, “Our questionnaire response is a document of which
we can all be very proud.”
The IOC Executive Board will meet to review all of the seven
sports’ submissions in June and will put their recommendations
to the remainder of the IOC who will vote on which sports to
include in October.
Task Force &
squash misses out
Leo scoops top HK award
Congratulations to Leo Au Chun-ming who won his first "Hong
Kong Junior Sports Stars Award" organized by the SF&OC HK,
Leo who is the Hong Kong Junior no. 1 and Hong Kong Senior no.
4, performed extremely well throughout 2008 winning his Asian
Junior title in Korea, winner$of the National Junior Series 1 &
2 in Australia, Hong Kong Junior Open BU19 and the HK Junior
Well Done Leo!
Simcock & Norman
honoured in New Zealand
Squash achieved a notable double in New Zealand this week when
Susie Simcock and Ross Norman were honoured at the annual
Halberg Awards dinner in Auckland.
The established awards event – shown live on national television –
recognises outstanding achievements by New Zealand sportsmen, women,
teams and coaches over the previous 12 months.
Susie Simcock, a National Olympic Committee board member for more
than 20 years, became the first woman to receive the Leadership
President of the World Squash Federation for a maximum six-year term
from 1996, Ms Simcock is Chairman of the WSF’s Olympic Affairs
Committee and is playing a leading role in the sport’s bid to join
the programme for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Ross Norman was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.
The 1986 World Open champion is the second squash player to receive
the honour, behind the legendary Dame Susan Devoy, who was inducted
Indeed it was Devoy who attracted much of the media attention
associated with the sport in the mid 1980s, when Norman upset world
number one Jahangir Khan to grab a piece of the limelight for
himself. Khan had not been beaten in five and a half years, before
the kiwi world number two's 9-5, 9-7, 7-9, 9-1 victory in the final
of the World Open in Toulouse.
It was the highlight of a sensational year for Norman, who scooped
several other titles in 1986 including the French Open, Irish Open,
European Open, German Open and the New Zealand Open. Norman
represented New Zealand at the World Team Championships no less than
six times, never finishing outside the top five, with the best
result second place in both 1985 and '87.
Norman now lives in England, but had no hesitation in returning home
to accept his induction into the hall of fame. "It is an honour and
a privilege to be recognised in this way, and it is truly the icing
on the cake as far as my squash career goes. Some incredible
athletes have been inducted in the past, and it is humbling to be
honoured along side them.
“When you are playing sport at the top level, you are aware of the
possibility that awards may come your way - but I haven't been
competing internationally for some 15 years, so this is a bit of a
Rebecca in HK top 20
On the day that the
UK's New Year honours list is announced, which includes
awards for all 19 gold medalists from Beijing, news that
Rebecca Chiu has been included in Hong Kong's "20 Best
Athletes of 2008", organized by the HK Sports Press
Association Ltd (HKSPA).
HK's top athletes past and present were honoured at a ceremony
marking the 20th anniversary of the HKSPA. There were 73
candidates from 23 sports who had great achievements in
representing Hong Kong from 1998 to 2008.
The winners were voted by the HKSPA committees, and the other 19
winners were from sports such as table-tennis, badminton,
fencing, cycling, soccer, triathlon, windsurfing, wushu,
basketball, snooker and bowling.
Well done Rebecca ...
Jansher's father passes away in
Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed, President Pakistan Squash
Federation, Air Vice Marshal Asim Suleiman, Senior Vice President
PSF and the staff of Pakistan Squash Federation conveyed heartfelt
condolence to Mr Mohibullah Khan, Mr Atlas Khan and Mr Jansher Khan
on the sad demise of their father today.
In a message of condolence, President PSF and other PSF officials
prayed for the departed soul to rest in eternal peace and for his
family to have courage and strength to bear this irreparable loss.
The PSF officials also offered condolence to Aamir Atlas, Farhan and
Mr Mehboob Khan.
BADMINTON England scoop £20.8million
Sport England award ...
England today took a giant step towards delivering its promise
to develop the game at club level like never before after
receiving a Sport England award of £20.8m spread over the next
The funding, which is an increase of £7.5million on the previous
four-year period, comes just two weeks after receiving £8.6m
from UK Sport's Elite Funding Programme geared to producing Team
GB badminton medallists at London 2012.
The Sport England award is crucial in helping BADMINTON England
achieve its goals in getting more people playing the sport at
school, club and community level as well as at the Elite end of
Just a week ago badminton emerged as the most-played racket
sport in Sport England's Active People Survey. Now BADMINTON
England have the chance to push even further forward.
Full story and more badminton news
what about squash, we say ...