The Squash 2016 bid team is making final preparations for its presentation of the low-cost high-impact sport to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board in Lausanne, on Monday 15 June, in its endeavour to have squash included in the Olympic Games from 2016.
All seven bidding sports will make presentations, and squash believes that it has all the right attributes to make it worthy of a spot. The bid team will have 30 minutes to prove its worth to the Executive Board. The team of six will be led by IOC Member, HRH Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia, and will include N Ramachandran, President of the World Squash Federation (WSF), and women’s world No. 1, Nicol David, along with three other players from across the globe.
As well as debuting a brand new video that highlights just how good squash looks on television, the team will also talk about the impressive universality of squash, and what a low-cost addition to the Olympic Games the sport would be. Just two glass squash courts would be required to stage the competition, and the WSF has pledged to donate these to the host city. The courts can be placed almost anywhere and importantly their donation would be permanent, so squash would leave a lasting legacy in Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo.
The players will explain how an Olympic medal would be the highest honour within the sport; all the top squash athletes in the world have pledged to be there and to compete. Squash has champions in territories that aren’t typically successful at the Olympic Games, and is the only sport to have enjoyed World Champions, men and women, from every continent.
N. Ramachandran, WSF President, said; “The team has put an enormous amount of work into Monday’s presentation, which is a reflection of how important Olympic inclusion is to the whole of squash. We are looking forward to the opportunity to address the Executive Board and highlight the many ways in which squash fulfils the criteria to become an Olympic sport”.
As part of the bidding process, squash was invited to send a representative to the recent 4th International Athletes Forum, the meeting of the IOC Athletes’ Commission in Marrakech, Morocco. Alex Gough, CEO of the Professional Squash Association, attended on the sport’s behalf and took part in valuable discussions with a variety of Olympic sports and IOC representatives.
“It was a really valuable experience, and I felt that we made some very good input across the board as well as learning from sports who have enjoyed Olympic status for years. In particular, squash players are very well represented by our professional bodies, and a number of sports were very interested in how we do this so successfully” said Gough.
For bid information please visit www.squash2016.info