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 ...