Top names support 2020 Challenge global squash match
Thursday, 30 August 2012
August 30 - The biggest squash match in history, which will take place on October 20, has already attracted over 10,000 participants, the World Squash Federation (WSF) have claimed.
The WSF is encouraging players across the world to take part in the 2020 Challenge on World Squash Day in less than two months' time, which is aimed at helping push the sport's bid for inclusion in the Summer Olympics in eight years' time.
Several leading professionals, including world champions Nick Matthew and Nicol David (pictured top), Egyptian star Ramy Ashour and current Professional Squash Association world number one James Willstrop, are supporting the day.
Players already signed up come from as far away as Ecuador, Australia, Panama and Zimbabwe.
The 2020 Challenge sees players playing the game in local clubs across the world, with each club fielding two teams of 20 players or more.
Every player is given one of two numbers and plays a first to 20 points game against their opposite number.
The scores from every match at every club are then counted up to reach an overall total for the two teams, Team Squash and Team 2020.
Vicky Clark, coordinator of World Squash Day, said: "The response has been overwhelming.
"New clubs are coming on board every day and it's great to have already reached 10,000 players.
"This is the biggest squash match in history and certainly one of the biggest sports fixtures ever held."
WSF chief executive Andrew Shelley added: "The club players will be competing in a single event spanning the world, not only having fun and promoting the sport locally but also showing their worldwide support of the Olympic bid."
Squash is currently battling with karate, baseball and softball, climbing, roller skating, wushu and wakeboard for a spot in the 2020 Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a decision on which sport to include in the programme at its Session in Buenos Aires next year.
This is the third time squash, which has never been a part of the Olympics, has bid to be included.
June 2012: Clubs to play in world's biggest squash match to help push 2020 Olympic inclusion bid