CELEBRATING WORLD SQUASH DAY.
I first came to Malaysia for the World Junior Men’s Championships in 1980 and was so entranced with this visit that I have returned almost every year since!
A strong bond was formed between my Club where we held the Scottish Junior Open annually and the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia, and for years I looked after visiting teams from Malaysia. A certain very young and small Nicol David was one of many to sit in Uncle’s House enjoying ice cream and hot chocolate once a year! This young lady is now the World Number 1 Women’s squash player, and there could be no finer role model for us. Nicol is now going to be one of the panel lead by our marvelous Patron, YAM Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar, making our final presentation to the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne in June, and I have no doubts that they too will find her quite irresistible!
Since January this year squash has put our campaign into overdrive with considerable success. We are now regarded as a very serious contender to be one of the two sports recommended in July for inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games.
This has been a very costly exercise. We needed a full time Bid Manager, a new web site, a professional PR/Media firm with knowledge of how to get stories into the publications read by IOC Members, to have a major presentation at Sport Accord in Denver and many more representations where important IOC Members were attending.
A most important area was to try to correct the one perceived weakness always highlighted to us—that squash is not a TV-friendly sport. We have commissioned the very best sports film maker that we could find to produce a stunning DVD for Lausanne to overturn this criticism, and that has inevitable been very expensive. So in total we have budgeted to spend some $600,000 which we must try to raise. Hence we have the appeal to contribute and we are deeply grateful to many National Federations, Companies and individuals who have already helped. But we have a long way to go and Squash 2016 day is very important for us to get donations, large or small—please go to http://squash2016.info/fundraising to donate.
We also need squash players worldwide in massive numbers to demonstrate on May 23rd how much they all want squash to be played in the Olympic Games by having publicized activities in every Club and Centre possible—that way we can all hope for our dream, which started in 1984, to be turned into a well deserved reality.
Our best wishes and thanks for the day to all squash addicts in lovely Malaysia.
Dr George Mieras
WSF IOC Bid Co-Ordinator