Statement from World Squash Federation President, N Ramachandran, in response to IOC Executive Board Announcement
Squash has come a long way in the last four years
“I speak for the whole sport when I say that we are hugely disappointed that the IOC Executive Board have not selected squash to face the wider IOC vote in Copenhagen in October. I believe that squash has come a long way in the last four years, not just in order try and gain Olympic inclusion but for the benefit of the sport as a whole. We have invested in developments and listened to players at all levels in order to help progress the sport. I believe that through this we have been able to take squash to a new level. Although we will not see our dream of being part of the Olympic Games from 2016, we will continue to improve the sport wherever possible, and will not give up on the belief that squash is deserving of and ready for Olympic status.”
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Notes to Editors:-
Squash is a game played by two or four players, dating back to the 1830’s. Squash is overseen by the World Squash Federation (WSF) and has a strong professional tour scene, with the men’s tour managed by the PSA (Professional Squash Association) and the ladies by WISPA (Women’s International Squash Players Association).
Squash is bidding for a place in the Olympic Games 2016 against six other sports: baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby sevens and softball. The IOC can choose up to two sports to include in 2016, but are under no obligation to take any.
The appeal of squash is not limited to professionals: with a worldwide participation of over 20 million people across 175 countries, squash is a relatively inexpensive game to ‘turn up and play’.
The case for squash is strong across all areas to be considered by the IOC, for example:
· It is a game popular the world over
· It is played by men and women and both games are of an equally high standard
· Inclusion is supported by PSA, WISPA ,the WSF and the sport as a whole
· An Olympic medal would be the highest possible achievement within the sport
· The top players (male and female) have all pledged to play at any Olympic Games
· Squash has a rigorous drug testing system in place, compatible with the IOC doping regulations as implemented by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency)
· The game would be easy and inexpensive to integrate into the Olympic Games, requiring just two glass courts which can be erected almost anywhere – tournaments have been held in front of the pyramids in Egypt (Al Ahram Open), inside The Field Museum in Chicago, and on the harbour’s edge in Hong Kong
· Squash is popular in countries that do not traditionally produce Olympians. As such the sport could ‘take’ the Olympic Games into new and developing territories
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Name: Sarah Hames
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Phone: +44.0207735 2970
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