TheStar, Malaysia. Thursday May 14, 2009
PETALING JAYA: The world squash fraternity, including powerhouse Malaysia, is out to make a final push to get the sport included in the 2016 Olympic Games.
A grand celebration worldwide has been planned to kick off their massive promotional campaign by marking May 23 as “Squash for 2016 Day”.
The Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president, Datuk A. Sani Karim, said that it would be a show of massive support from all their member nations on this special day to promote the sport and to assist in the bid for the sport’s inclusion in the Olympics.
World No. 1 Nicol David and top men’s players, including Ong Beng Hee and Mohd Azlan Iskandar, will also join the campaign.
Sani said that there would be worldwide festival of activities, including a national level celebration with a motorcade procession of 16 cars, beginning at the birthplace of squash in the country — the Royal Lake Club in Kuala Lumpur.
Sani said that all the affiliates had responded well to host more than 50 activities in their countries.
“Squash for 2016 Day is to high profile the sport in all countries by showing that we care passionately about the game being part of the Olympics,” he said at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
“We hope to take this passion further by raising funds to support the bid process.”
Sani added that all funds raised would be passed to the World Squash Federation (WSF) to aid the bid committee.
He was optimistic that their efforts would succeed when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decide on the two new sports for the 2016 Games at their congress in Copenhagen in October.
Squash is one of the seven sports trying to get into the programme. The others are baseball, golf, karate, rugby 7s, roller speedskating and softball.