Jonathon Power and Nicol David, two of the greatest names in world squash, will lead the inaugural WSF Ambassador Programme in Latvia later this year.
A new international promotional initiative devised by the World Squash Federation, the first of the WSF Ambassador Programme will visit the Latvian capital Riga from 25-27 November, when Power and David will be joined by a coaching guru and a refereeing instructor to highlight the appeal of Squash to the public and the media.
While the players will integrate with the local squash community and media, referees and coaches from Latvia and neighbouring countries will be invited to attend workshops that will enable them to take home a reach seam of information and techniques.
Nicol David is arguably Malaysia’s most successful sports star of all-time, winning a record eighth ‘Malaysian Sportswoman of the Year’ award this year. The 28-year-old from Penang has held the Asian women’s squash title unopposed since 1998 – when aged just 14. Winner of 54 WISPA World Tour titles, including a record-equalling fifth World Open crown last September, Nicol began her sixth year at the top of the women’s world rankings this month.
Canadian Jonathon Power, who became the first North American world number one in 1999, retired from the PSA World Tour in March 2006 after a glittering career which included 37 titles, including the World Open, the British Open and four Tournament of Champions’ crowns. One of the most creative players of all-time, Power was still able to win his seventh Canadian national title than two years after his retirement. The 37-year-old is now a much-sought-after coach in Toronto where, amongst others, he has taken Pakistani prodigy Maria Toor Pakay under his wing.
“We couldn’t wish for two more appropriate ambassadors for our sport to help spread the word in Latvia and beyond, and we are thrilled that Nicol and Jonathon have been able to find time in their busy schedules to join us in Riga,” said WSF CEO Andrew Shelley.
The venue in Riga will be the Zelta Bowling and Squash Center, an imposing squash facility featuring eight courts and many other sporting and leisure options.
The coaching workshops will be undertaken by Ronny Vlasseks, a highly-experienced European Squash Federation Tutor who is also the Head Coach of the Dutch and Belgian national squash teams. Meanwhile, looking after the refereeing side will be Scotsman Ian Allanach, a former WSF top referee and now a worldwide refereeing assessor.