WSF plans to push for Olympic spot

The Hindu – Tuesday, Dec 16, 2008
CHENNAI: Even as the Indian cricketers were carving out a momentous Test victory over England on Monday the management committee of the World Squash Federation was ready with its historic programme aimed at trying to get squash into the 2016 Olympics.

The Committee which met over two days, the first under the new President of the WSF, N. Ramachandran, discussed the actions to be taken over the next ten months when the fate of the sport will be decided by the IOC from amongst the seven in the fray (baseball, golf, karate, rugby, softball and roller-sports being the others) in Copenhagen.

Mr. Ramchandran briefing newsmen on the steps planned said, the committee co-opted Frank van Loon as a vice-president in the absence of a CEO and also appointed Dr George Meiras as the Company Secretary. “The basic idea is to form various sub-committees with specific tasks to fulfil,” he said.

He said after he had led a delegation last month to meet the IOC President and make a presentation in Lausanne, the Olympic Committee had sought response to a detailed questionnaire from the Programme commission which touched upon the sport’s universality, its compliance with IOC ethics and standards and values that squash could bring to the Games.

The WSF president and vice-president Chris Stahl from England underlined the sports popularity both at the junior and senior levels and its possibility of being conducted anywhere from a railway station to scenic locations thanks to portable courts.

Mr. Ramachandran also underscored the fact that world champions from squash had come from all the five continents giving the sports a universal image.

The WSF had planned various measures for raising funds, promoting the sport through its players in general and also by a special task force comprising PSA and WISPA players world-wide.

The sport was also compliant with the WADA code. “The next year until October is crucial for squash will be under observation,” the Committee members observed.

Mr Ramachandran also said that WSF would decide on fresh dates in consultation with the PSA calendar in 2009 for the postponed World doubles championship. “It will be held in Chennai,” he reiterated. On the question mark about Pakistan’s participation in the next month’s Asian junior squash scheduled in Chennai, he said the event would go on as scheduled.

Dr. Meiras and the Vice Presidents Gerard DeCourcy and Ms Heather Deayton were also present on the occasion.

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About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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