Squash News From Around The World - The World Squash Federation



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American Peter Lasusa has been elected as WSF Vice President at the AGM held in the Egyptian capital Cairo ...

American Peter Lasusa has been elected as World Squash Federation (WSF) Vice President at the WSF AGM held in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

Lasusa, a former Chairman of US Squash is the President of Management Leadership Resources Inc.

Upon his election, Lasusa commented: “I would like to congratulate my predecessor Gar Holohan who did so much work for the last two years, and now I look forward to applying my broad experience in many aspects of our sport to help WSF achieve its vision. I am genuinely excited!”

Holohan had completed a two-year term, in which he involved himself fully across all facets of WSF business, with a special interest in governance and branding. Following the vote, WSF President Jacques Fontaine paid tribute to the Irishman for his commitment to the role.

Vice President Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the five-time World Champion from Australia, was returned unopposed for a second term for the other Vice President position that was being contested by rotation. (The President and other two Vice President terms end in 2020).

The Federation AGM, with 45 nations represented and superbly hosted by the Egyptian Squash Federation, was presided over by President Fontaine, and also dealt with formal business. This included amendments to the Articles of Association (reinforcing safeguarding policy); adopting updated World Squash Anti-Doping Rules; reducing the general warm-up period before the start of matches from five minutes to four minutes; Forward Plan and accounts.

The conclusion of the meeting saw Fontaine make a presentation to Chris Herridge, the retiring Chairman of the WSF Courts and Equipment Commission after thirty years as the world authority on everything related to court construction and products. The President also acknowledged the Egyptian Federation, presenting President Assem Khalifa with a plaque recognising their hosting.

Closing the meeting, Fontaine said: “Squash is united to move forward to see the sport flourish, and achieve an Olympic Games place in Paris in 2024. I devote myself to both these objectives.”

The preceding day had seen the important wide-ranging WSF Conference where delegates heard about and discussed such topics as the squash bid for a place on the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Programme, and an updated strategic outline – both in partnership with the Professional Squash Association (PSA).

Other topics included the review into the delegate voting formula at AGMs; updates on general areas of activity such as World Squash Officiating, Coach Education and Championships, amongst others.

Naturally, with the AGM being held in Egypt, the opportunity was also taken to include a presentation to give delegates an insight into the Egyptian pathway to great international squash success.




World No.4 Tarek Momen has ended a four-year trophy drought after beating fellow Egyptian Ali Farag 3-2 to win the Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill ...

World No.4 Tarek Momen has ended a four-year trophy drought after beating fellow Egyptian Ali Farag 3-2 to win the Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill, PSA World Tour Gold event held in Weybridge.

Momen had been in brilliant form throughout the tournament – dispatching Cameron Pilley, Paul Coll and Diego Elias without dropping a single game – and was up against the 2017 runner-up in Farag.

Momen was also a beaten finalist at this tournament, losing to Coll in 2016, and he twice went a game behind against the World No.2 today, but fought back both times to force a decider as he played some accurate, attacking squash.

The drama inside St George’s Hill Lawn Tennis Club rose to a crescendo in the fifth as Momen thought he had won it after playing a winner while holding a championship ball. Farag questioned whether the ball had clipped the tin, and Momen agreed to play a let to put his title win on temporary hold.

But the 30-year-old held his nerve to close out the win on the very next point as he completed an 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9 victory to capture the fifth PSA Tour trophy of his career, and his first since the Macau Open in October 2014.

“I can’t believe it, it’s been four years since I won a title,” said an emotional Momen afterwards.

“It’s the biggest of my career and I’m really proud of this moment. As for Ali, I have the utmost respect for him, he’s a really good friend of mine. We’ve been away for a month and each of us has won a title, so we should be fine going back home.

“Putting everything aside, I’m really happy with how I’ve progressed mentally over the past year and a half. I used to give up when I was really tired, now I’m much better at it. I can be exhausted, but I can still push and find other plans.”

Final: 2018 Channel VAS Championships at St George’s Hill
[3] Tarek Momen (EGY) 3-2 [2] Ali Farag (EGY)  8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9 (87m)

 




WSF President Jacques Fontaine believes that squash's recent Showcase at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games 2018 will have left a lasting impression on both the population of Buenos Aires and the Olympic family ...

World Squash Federation (WSF) President Jacques Fontaine believes that squash’s recent Showcase at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games 2018 will have left a lasting impression on both the population of Buenos Aires and the Olympic family following a successful week of action that saw over 25,000 people witness squash in the flesh.

Over 2,000 children tasted their first experience of squash during the week through introductory sessions on a miniature outdoor activation court – while the Showcase all-glass court, situated in the heart of Technopolis Park, attracted almost 5,000 visitors each day with many witnessing squash for the first time in their lives.

Joining the thousands of locals to watch the squash showcase were high-profile IOC members such as HRH Tunku Imran, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, and Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi, who had the chance to step onto court and experience the sport first-hand (pictured below) – an experience shared by hundreds of lucky locals who were given the chance to play a suite of new interactive games on the centrepiece court.


“The Squash Showcase in Buenos Aires has exceeded all expectations and we are delighted with the reaction from the local population, the participating athletes and the wider IOC family,”
 said Fontaine.

“Along with enjoying what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, our athletes embraced the local spirit and it was fantastic to see them engaging with young fans and to see so many smiles on the young schoolchildren’s faces.

“To have so many children step onto a court for the first time is very encouraging for the development of the sport in Argentina. The number of people stopping to watch in awe at both the athleticism of our athletes and the eye-catching displays of the interactive court have shown us that, as a sport, squash can offer something different.

“The feedback we have received so far has been universally positive and we now look forward to working with all parties to show that squash can replicate this success at Paris 2024.”

In parallel to the Showcase event, squash was also represented amongst wider Olympic initiatives during the Youth Olympics, with Maria Toorpakai Wazir, a professional player from Pakistan, sharing her remarkable story during a panel session at the inaugural Olympism in Action Forum on the same day that Shahd Bshara, a young squash player from Israel, was chosen as one of four athletes from around the world to form the first Sport at the Service of Humanity Young Leaders Mentoring Program.

Inspired by their experiences at the event, all 38 athletes participating in the squash showcase (pictured above) also contributed to the on-going SquashFORWARD initiative by participating in sessions led by Mexico’s PanAm Games Gold Medal winner Samantha Teran – sharing their thoughts and opinions on a host of topics covering all aspects of the game.

Their feedback will be combined in the following months with that collected during previous sessions conducted over the summer to formulate a forward-looking roadmap.

Colombian Squash Ambassador Luis Mancilla signs squash balls for eager fans




Reigning World Champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily claimed the silverware on finals night at the U.S. Open in Philadelphia ...

Reigning World Champions Mohamed ElShorbagy and Raneem El Welily claimed the silverware on finals night at the FS Investments U.S. Open Squash Championships after they defeated Germany’s Simon Rösner and World No.1 Nour El Sherbini, respectively, at Philadelphia’s Drexel University.

2017 runner-up ElShorbagy captured his third U.S. Open title after the World No.1 twice recovered from a game down before putting in a superb fifth-game display to overcome World No.5 Rösner by an 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 margin in the men’s final.

The 27-year-old Egyptian, who lost to World No.2 Ali Farag in last year’s final, had beaten Rösner in all 14 of their previous encounters on the PSA Tour and he weathered some attacking squash from the German to extend that record, lifting the 34th PSA Tour title of his career – and his first of the season – in the process.

“I need to give credit to Rösner, he played amazing throughout the whole week,” said ElShorbagy.

“I’m pleased we had a fair battle. I’m pleased to win my third U.S. Open title, I lost last year and I was a bit disappointed, but I lost to the better player and had no regrets.

“This year, I wanted to come and try and do one match better and luckily I was able to do that and it came together this week.”

Meanwhile, El Welily has become U.S. Open champion for the first time after a scintillating display from the World No.2 saw her beat fellow Egyptian Nour El Sherbini in straight games to improve on last year’s runner-up finish.

The top two women in the world had met 18 times on the PSA Tour – with both players enjoying nine wins apiece coming into tonight’s match – while they contested six finals during the 2017/18 season.

And a superb display of attacking squash from El Welily saw her dominate the encounter to win in just 33 minutes, with an 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 victory seeing her etch her name into the prestigious trophy for the first time, while she has also closed the gap between herself and El Sherbini in the battle for the World No.1 spot.

“Last year I made it to the final and couldn’t quite make it to the end,” said El Welily after lifting the 19th PSA Tour title of her career.

“I’m very glad that I managed to make it one [step] further this time. The U.S. Open has been one of the titles that I have always loved and a title that I have wanted to win for a long time now.

“It’s definitely a special moment for me. Nour has had a great week and has played really well and I look forward to many more matches this season. I’m sure she will come back fighting and they will be good battles. Hopefully I can get back to World No.1, it’s my dream and I will continue to fight for it.”

ElShorbagy and El Welily will both take home prize money totalling $22,800 each, while they have become the first players to qualify for the season-ending PSA World Tour Finals.

The PSA World Tour Finals features both a men’s and women’s tournament and brings together the reigning PSA World Champions and all seven PSA World Tour Platinum title winners, with any remaining places being allocated to the highest ranked players on the PSA World Tour Finals Leaderboard.

 Men’s Final: 
[1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY) 3-2 [4] Simon Rösner (GER)  8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 (73m)

Women’s Final: 
[2] Raneem El Welily (EGY) 3-0 [1] Nour El Sherbini (EGY)  11-6, 11-9, 11-8 (33m)

 




Squash has captured the minds of thousands of local school children at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires ...

Squash, which has this week made its debut as a Showcase Sport at the Youth Olympic Games with week-long action taking place in a state-of-the-art glass court situated at Technopolis park, has captured the minds of thousands of local school children in Buenos Aires who have experienced the sport for the first time in their lives.

Over four hundred children each day have been introduced to the game on a miniature outdoor demonstration court, allowing them to hold a squash racket and hit a squash ball for the very first time. Those children, along with hundreds more, have then watched some of the world’s best young players showcase the sport on an innovative glass court with an interactive front wall.

The interactive wall, developed by German company interactiveSquash in partnership with the Professional Squash Association and World Squash Federation, has transformed the court into a colourful and engaging playground that has delighted and awed fans of all ages.

Throughout the week, the court has come alive with player tracking and reactive displays showing the location of ball impacts on the wall – while hundreds of school children have had the opportunity to step onto the court for the first time in their lives and experience the interactive gaming modules first hand.

Through a series of introductory activities on both courts, aimed at encouraging children to get active and become acquainted with being on a squash court, a new generation of Argentinian children have been inspired to get involved in sport. These youngsters are given the opportunity to develop their love affair with squash at local centres as part of the integrated programme.

“To see so many children becoming involved with squash for the first time in their lives this week, and to have so much fun doing so, has been a huge success for us and we hope it will have encouraged a new generation of future champions in Argentina,” said World Squash President Jacques Fontaine.

“The future of sport lies with this generation of children and to have thousands of youngsters stepping onto a squash court, holding a squash ball and experiencing the joy of hitting a squash ball for the first time in their lives, has been very rewarding for everyone involved. As we are vying to be included in the Olympic programme, I hope that this generation could one day shine at the Olympic Games.”


Argentinian Squash Federation President Juan Pablo Garcia
 said: “The activation programme, both on the miniature outdoor court and on the stunning glass-court, has been a huge success and we hope that squash’s participation here in Buenos Aires will have a lasting legacy for the community here and for the sport worldwide.

“Squash is a very fun sport to play which mixes exercise and fitness with social interaction. It is our hope that we will have inspired a new generation of children to become more active and to engage with the sport of squash.”


Markos Kern
, founder of interactiveSquash, added: “This is squash plus gaming. We are bringing fun back to sport and we are already seeing that, as a result, squash is becoming more popular and more people are being introduced to the sport.

“This system turns the actual sport of squash into an interactive experience – it’s fitness, sport, fun and technology all coming together to encourage activity and put fun into activity.

“Implementing a gaming aspect into squash can help take the sport to a new level. Children play sports for fun and we’ve seen in recent years a shift towards static lifestyles amongst children. This technology can help combat that and combat the rise of youth health issues such as obesity.”




Maria Toorpakai Wazir and Shahd Bshara participated in two inaugural initiatives launched this week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that saw them advocate for inclusion through sport by sharing their inspiring stories ...

Maria Toorpakai Wazir, a professional squash player from Pakistan, and Shahd Bshara, a member of the Israel-based urban squash programme SquashBond, participated in two inaugural initiatives launched this week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that saw them advocate for inclusion through sport by sharing their inspiring stories on the eve of the Youth Olympic Games that kick off in the Argentinian capital today.

Squash is introduced as a Showcase Sport at the Youth Olympic Games with 38 young players from 28 countries looking forward to capture imaginations of visiting fans and forum delegates alike.

Toorpakai Wazir, whose remarkable journey to become a professional athlete saw her disguise herself as a boy in order to train, compete and attend school in defiance of imposed Taliban rule in her home region of Waziristan, Pakistan, spoke during a working session entitled “Spark Talk: Fighting for the Right to Play Sport” at the inaugural Olympism in Action Forum – a newly launched IOC programme focused on building a better world through sport.

The world-ranked number 116 is a renowned gender equality advocate and serves on the IOC Women in Sport Commission, aiming to promote equal opportunities for girls and women to participate in, and benefit from sport and physical activity.

“It was very exciting to be part of the Olympism in Action Forum ahead of the Youth Olympic Games this week,” said Toorpakai Wazir

“It is a perfect opportunity and a great platform to talk about the importance of sports and how it can transform individuals and communities and make the world a more humane, peaceful and well connected place to live in.

“I also cannot wait to see squash being showcased at the Games. I want to see squash, the sport that I love the most, becoming part of the Olympic programme soon and the process is very exciting.”

Toorpakai Wazir is one of 300 professional female players competing on the PSA World Tour – the sport’s professional body which jointly administers the male and female game with a commitment to achieving parity in prize money and playing opportunities.

15-year-old Bshara, meanwhile, was chosen as one of four athletes from around the world to form the first Sport at the Service of Humanity Young Leaders Mentoring Program, launched at the Young Leaders Forum on Thursday, October 4, 2018, which aims to prepare athletes and young leaders in sport to “Win in Life” and inspire their communities through the power of their example.

SquashBond, of which Bshara is a member, is a cross-community organisation that helps to bridge the gap between Jewish and Arab cultures in Israel and teaches lifeskills and leadership through the game of squash. The organisation aims to help children and teenagers grow into confident, mature adults who can venture beyond their communities, pursue educational achievements and ultimately jointly promote a shared community.

“I fell in love with squash the moment I first played it five years ago and through squash so many new opportunities and doors have opened for me,” said Bshara, who lives in an Arab town in Israel.

“The opportunity to travel to Argentina and be part of Young Leaders Mentoring Program is a great honour and has been very exciting. I have enjoyed talking to the other mentees and the mentors about squash and to meet and learn from inspirational leaders, who have such vast experience, will help me to develop as a person.

“Learning how sport can help promote peace and empower people is very important and I hope that I can help bring the sport of squash to our community in the future.”

Jacques Fontaine, the World Squash Federation President who is leading the squash delegation in Buenos Aires, commented: “We are very honoured to have such strong voices advocating for inclusion through sport on behalf of the squash family here in Buenos Aires, in a demonstration of squash being at the forefront of breaking cultural and gender barriers through sport. As WSF and PSA are jointly vying for squash to be included in the Olympic Programme, we are proud to have this opportunity to share our ideas and vision with the IOC, Paris 2024 Organising Committee and other Olympic, sport and civil society representatives gathered here in Argentina.”

Toorpakai Wazir imagery courtesy of IOC




Top seeds beaten in Oracle Netsuite Open finals in San Francisco ...

A sublime performance from start to finish saw Egypt’s World No.2 Ali Farag defeat 2017 tournament champion and World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy in the final of the 2018 Oracle NetSuite Open in San Francisco to claim his first major title in nine months on an evening of play that also saw England’s Sarah-Jane Perry stun World Champion Raneem El Welily to successfully retain the title she won here twelve months ago.

Farag, who lost four of five meetings with ElShorbagy during the 2017/18 campaign, underlined his intention to challenge his compatriot for the coveted World No.1 ranking spot this season with a clinical display that saw him nullify ElShorbagy’s power and pace to prevail an 11-9, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9 winner.

There was little to separate the pair as they battled it out for 64 minutes of spell binding action on San Francisco’s Embarcadero, trading points tit-for-tat during a series of physically punishing rallies to the delight of the crowd. But it was Farag who settled quicker, using his relaxed attacking style to edge a tight opening game, before doubling the lead courtesy of a dramatic second-game tie-break.

ElShorbagy replied in style to dominate the third game before Farag once again enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the fourth to come through and win his first tournament since February’s Swedish Open.

“I’m feeling great right now, I’m very, very happy to have won this title,” said Farag.

“When I first saw the entry list I thought I would withdraw from playing because the draw was so strong. But my mentor Karim Darwish told me that I should play the event and show people that they should be scared when seeing my name in the draw – that is the kind of mentality that I need to have if I hope to be World No.1 some day.

“I wasn’t at my best last night (against Gaultier) but I was optimistic that I would play at a higher level tonight because sometimes you need matches like that to help get you into the rhythm.

“Tonight against Mohamed I had to be on my mettle throughout. He’s a great champion and such a determined fighter – which he showed even when I was ahead in the fourth game, so I’m very glad I managed to get this last few points.

“Last season I got off to a strong start but I couldn’t carry it through until the end of the season. I was maybe mentally tired towards the end of the year so I’m trying to learn from that experience and be more consistent this season and now I’m really looking forward to going to the U.S Open to defend that title next week.

“Winning there with Nour last year has been the highlight of my career so hopefully we can do it again this time.”

Speaking afterwards ElShorbagy said:

“He played great tonight – he’s been the best player here all week. But it’s a long season so hopefully I can get back at him at an event coming up.”

After storming through the women’s draw to book a place in the final without dropping a game El Welily, the 29-year-old World No.2, picked up where she left off during the opening exchanges of the women’s final as she raced into an early 6-1 lead to set up what looked certain to be a comfortable opening first game.

But World No.8 Perry responded to the challenge, finding her own lethal streak mid-way through to swing the game on its head and take the opener 11-9 against the run of play. Buoyed by her comeback in the first, Perry continued to enjoy a purple patch as she dominated the second to double her advantage – leaving El Welily searching for a way to stop the onslaught.

The Egyptian though responded in kind, lifting her level once again to engage Perry in rally after rally of physically testing and tactically probing squash. With the finishing line in sight at 9-7 though a series of errors from the racket of Perry gifted El Welily a reprieve, and she took full advantage to gain a lifeline on the scoreboard before taking the fourth in just eight minutes to level the scores.

The crucial fifth and final game began with a series of cat-and-mouse exchanges with little to separate them but from 4-4 Perry turned the screw to set up match ball at 10-4. A series of sumptuous winners saw El Welily threaten to extend the match into a tie-break but Perry finally sealed the match, and her second Oracle NetSuite Open title, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7.

“I’m speechless,” said Perry afterwards. “She was making me work so hard and any time there was even a slight chance she was punishing me.

“I had to play as clever as I have ever done before and I was absolutely knackered in that fifth game but I just forced myself to keep pushing. I knew I was playing well and that I didn’t have to chance much tactically, I just had to execute.

“But even at 10-4 up she was coming back and she hit some fantastic shots to get it back to 10-7 so there was a lot of relief at the end alongside the elation.

“I dedicated the win here last year to my Nan (who passed away shortly before the event). My mum said she’s be looking down watching over me tonight as well so this one is defiantly for her again.”

After the match El Welily said:

“Obviously I’m disappointed to lose tonight but Sarah-Jane played very well and deserved the win.”

2018 Oracle NetSuite Open Finals:
[5] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) 3-2 [1] Raneem El Welily (EGY)      11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7 (57m)
[2] Ali Farag (EGY) 3-1 [1] Mohamed ElShorbagy (EGY)     11-9, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9 (64m)




WSF President Jacques Fontaine has expressed his excitement at seeing the world's best squash juniors coming together for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires this weekend ...

Ahead of squash’s introduction as a Showcase Sport at the 2018 Youth Olympic GamesWSF President Jacques Fontaine has expressed his excitement at seeing the world’s best squash juniors coming together for the event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this weekend.

Action from a state-of-the-art Glass Squash Court, complete with innovative interactive front-wall technology, will begin on October 7th at the Technopolis Park, a cluster designed to bring together sports and new technologies, which will also serve as venue for the 2018 Youth Games Badminton, Futsal and Table Tennis competitions. A total of 38 players, 19 girls and 19 boys, from 28 countries, will travel to Argentina with the hope of capturing the imaginations and encouraging young fans to try and practice squash.

[Image above of Oracle NetSuite Open, wrapping up in San Francisco on 2nd October, provides a taste of what the squash showcourt will look like at Buenos Aires 2018]

Jacques Fontaine will lead a high-level delegation which will represent squash at both the Youth Olympic Games on October 6th to18th and the inaugural Olympism in Action Forum on October 5th-6th. He will be joined by Pablo Serna, WSF Vice President and PSA Director and Board member; Samantha Teran, top professional squash player from Mexico and PanAmerican Games gold medallist; and Maria Toorpakai Wazir, former professional squash player from Pakistan and a member of the IOC’s Women in Sport Commission.

“The Youth Olympic Games is a celebration of young athletes, diversity, camaraderie, athleticism and competitiveness of sport,” said Fontaine.

“The entire squash family is very excited that our sport will feature at Buenos Aires 2018 and that we will be able to demonstrate in this unique setting what squash stands for today – and where it is heading. I am convinced that our players will put on a show that will inspire the many young people in attendance and watching through television and social media to become involved in the game.

“As squash is vying to become an Olympic sport, we relish the opportunity to demonstrate in Buenos Aires how our sport can seamlessly integrate an event of such level with a minimal investment, while bringing a lot of excitement and spectacular action to the very heart of the host cities.”

England’s 17-year-old Alice Green, ranked No.123 in the world, is one player relishing the chance to show what squash has to offer.

“I’m very excited to be travel to Buenos Aires next week as part of the squash delegation,” said the Essex-based Green. “I feel privileged to have the chance to help showcase the game of squash on such a prestigious stage – it is an incredible honour.

“To have the chance to fly the flag for squash during the youth Olympic Games, which is such an amazing event, and hopefully introduce the game to new audiences, is a really exciting opportunity. And just the thought of going to Buenos Aires with the chance of seeing the Games and attending some of the events there sends a shiver down my spine.”

Jeremías Azaña, one of four Argentinian juniors who will showcase the sport, is equally excited: “I am very excited to participate in the Squash Showcase at the Youth Olympic Games.

“I hope that many people can see the sport of squash during the event and I hope to do my best to show off the sport and enjoy the experience with friends.

YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES OFFICIAL SITE


World Squash Day takes place on Saturday October 13th and this year it aims to hit all the right notes with a musical theme ...

World Squash Day takes place on Saturday October 13th and this year it aims to hit all the right notes with a musical theme.

The track called Africa, written by squash-loving composer Stuart Sharp, is being released by the Pure Sync label as the Official Single of World Squash Day. It will also be available on iTunes.

The song was recorded live at a charity concert staged by Stuart in Zambia in January 1989.

Sung by the late Oliver Cheatham, the track still sounds as fresh and vibrant as it did on the day 80,000 people packed into Lusaka’s National Stadium to hear it for the first time.

Composer Sharp hopes it will be given plenty of air-time by TV and radio stations during the build-up to World Squash Day.

“That concert was the culmination of a major project to give people in the shanty towns the chance to play sport and I was busy handing out hundreds of squash rackets, balls and equipment,” said Sharp.

“Some 29 years on I am delighted to support World Squash Day, which has the same aims of making squash accessible to as many people as possible.

“Squash, well known for being one of the best sports for health and fitness, can also provide a great solution in the fight to combat childhood obesity in developed countries.”

Sharp’s love of squash grew when he was homeless in London in the 1980s. He wandered in to the Wembley Squash Centre and watched in awe as he saw Jahangir Khan training with his coach Rahmat Khan as the Pakistani wonder boy was launching an astonishing career that made him the most successful player in the history of the sport.

Sharp ended up travelling the world with the Khans and filmed some of the highlights of Jahangir’s career.

He has recently re-edited much of this vintage footage and a short film called “Jahangir Khan” is due to be launched next month at the Pakistan High Commission in London.

World Squash Day is endorsed by the World Squash Federation and the PSA (Professional Squash Association), which manages the World Tour for the game’s male and female professionals.

Founder Alan Thatcher added:

“I always appreciate the support of the WSF and the PSA players as we strive to promote squash at every club on the planet on the same day.

“This year it is extra special to have our own theme song and the energy and passion in ‘Africa’ mirrors how so many squash enthusiasts feel about their sport.

“We are particularly hoping that African nations will respond to this wonderful track and help to promote the game across that whole continent and beyond.”

Oliver Cheatham (1948-2013) was an American R&B singer whose biggest hit came with the 1983 song ‘Get Down Saturday Night.’

Sharp added:

“He loved being on stage in Zambia. His voice, his performance and personality are still overwhelming when I see the recording now. He was such a great singer and I am so pleased to see this adding a new dimension to the enormous work already done for the game by World Squash Day.”

Sharp, despite a lack of any formal musical training, went on to write a number of symphonies, which were recorded by The London Philharmonia Orchestra.

A movie of his extraordinary life story, based on his autobiography ‘The Gift’ (available on Amazon) is being produced by Gold Circle Films in Hollywood.

 

 




Traditional Chinese musicians and dancers regaled athletes, officials and volunteers at the Closing Ceremony dinner for the CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship in Dalian as the Liaoning Province seaport city celebrated the successful staging of the historic first world squash championship to be held on mainland China. Egypt, with a powerful squad boasting four world top six-ranked players, …

Traditional Chinese musicians and dancers regaled athletes, officials and volunteers at the Closing Ceremony dinner for the CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship in Dalian as the Liaoning Province seaport city celebrated the successful staging of the historic first world squash championship to be held on mainland China.

Egypt, with a powerful squad boasting four world top six-ranked players, successfully defended the title – beating seven-times champions England to claim the title for a fourth time in 10 years.

FULL STORY ON WSFWORLDTEAMS



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