Clubs to play in world's biggest squash match to help push 2020 Olympic inclusion bid
Monday, 11 June 2012
June 11 - Squash players worldwide are being invited to take part in what could be the biggest game in history to promote the sport's bid for inclusion on the Olympic programme.
When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decides next year which one of the eight bidding sports will be included in the Olympics from 2020, squash fans will be hoping it will their be sport.
Baseball and softball are both bidding to return to the Games, competing with squash against climbing, karate, roller skating, wakeboard and wushu.
Squash previously bid for inclusion on the London 2012 and Rio 2016 programme, losing on the last occasion to golf and rugby sevens.
To support the current bid, clubs around the world are being encouraged to help create the biggest squash match in history, which will be held on World Squash Day, Saturday October 20.
Clubs are invited to field two teams – one being Team Squash and the other Team 2020 – of 20 players, with rival team members playing one game up to 20 points.
The scores from every club will then count towards an overall global result between Team Squash and Team 2020.
The current world champion, Britain's Nick Matthew (pictured above, right), said: "This is a great idea for squash players all over the world to back the Olympic bid.
"My own club, Hallamshire in Sheffield, has always been an enthusiastic supporter of World Squash Day and this looks like a fantastic idea to get huge numbers of people involved."
Organisers hope that the total number of people involved will be in the tens of thousands as they bid to showcase their sport's credentials.
"Our aim is to get this event into the Guinness Book of Records, and we hope that kind of response will show a tremendous global support for squash and the Olympic bid," said event founder Alan Thatcher.
"Along with event coordinator Vicky Clark I look forward to being inundated with club registrations!"
Squash has never previously been an Olympic sport and has undergone a number of changes in recent years in order to win a place on the Olympic programme.
High definition television coverage, changes to the scoring system and all glass courts are among the changes made to the sport.
Andrew Shelley, chief executive of the World Squash Federation (WSF), added: "There are more than 50,000 courts spread across the world and to give the players on all of them the chance to compete in the same championship will bring the world of squash together in such a unique way.
"A day to look forward to, a day that will be remembered."
May 2012: Changes make squash more attractive to Olympics, President claims
February 2012: Squash star Wright appointed Olympic Sport Makers Ambassador
February 2012: Alan Hubbard - Sheep shearing on the Olympic programme? "I don't believe it!"
December 2011: World squash number one Nicol David aims for 2020 Olympic recognition
November 2011: Open format for Kuwait PSA Cup underlines World Squash innovation ahead of 2020 Olympics