The World Squash Federation to continue campaign to include this sport in Olympic Games
Chief Executive of the World Squash Federation (WSF) Andrew Shelley said at a press conference in Kyiv that squash has long been worthy of becoming an Olympic sport and the squash community is working to ensure that this ball sport could be included in the Summer Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.
He announced this amid a press lunch in Kyiv, which was dedicated to the WSF Ambassador Programme 2018 for squash development.
Along with the Chief Executive, the delegation included three-time world champion from Egypt Ramy Ashour and France's No. 1 player and six-time European champion Camille Serme.
Ramy Ashour supported the Chief Executive of the World Squash Federation, adding: "We all and personally I put a lot of effort into including our application for Olympics 2020, and it almost became a reality but failed. I'll be very happy and proud when it happens, because I am also involved!"
Camille Serme also dreams of including squash in the Olympics in Paris, and even plans to take part in it: "If squash gets a residence permit at the Olympics, I hope I will be able to participate, especially if it happens in my homeland, I'll only be 35 in 2024!"
President of the Sports Committee of Ukraine Illia Shevlyak, who also took part in the press lunch, expressed confidence that squash would be presented at the Olympics. "Squash and the Olympics is a perfect fit, it's a very dynamic sport, I think squash will be in Paris in 2024," added Shevlyak whose agency oversees the 47 non-Olympic sports in Ukraine.
President of the Squash Federation of Ukraine Anastasiia Netrebchuk announced an increase in the number of squash players in Ukraine and drew attention to the growing number of junior players, which is directly related to a project earlier launched by the WSF for a squash academy for children.
The Squash Federation of Ukraine says that the goal of cooperation with the WSF is to raise the level of Ukrainian squash to European and international standards.
"For further popularization of squash, we need the Olympics, and squash deserves to be part of it because of its long history, involvement of millions of people, dynamics and reactivity, an excellent picture for TV. We are grateful to the Worldwide Squash Federation for including our country in the programme for the popularization of squash and for teamwork," Coordinator of the programme and Vice President of the Squash Federation of Ukraine Maksim Urakin commented.
The press lunch was held in Kyiv as part of the programme for the popularization of squash created by the World Squash Federation back in 2011. In 2018, the WSF Ambassador Programme was under way in Armenia and Ukraine. The project involves two leading squash players, an international coach and a referee. Kyiv's Grand Prix club hosted the 2018 WSF Ambassador Programme. Under the project, there were exhibition matches, thematic conferences, coaching and refereeing workshops, sparring and training of Ukrainian men's and women's national teams with top world players, training of children from the children's squash academy, press events.
The Summer Olympic Games will be held in Paris, France, in 2024.
Sponsors and partners of the programme of the International Squash Federation and the Squash Federation of Ukraine were:
The Grand Prix sports club, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Park Inn Hotel, MaxEvents, In Vino wine salon, Oxy Taxi, O.gorod restaurant, Miriada Fruits juice brand, Boryspil Airport, the Boryspil magazine.