Nour El Sherbini, the women's world number one, is among the group ©Getty Images

The World Squash Federation (WSF) and the Professional Squash Association (PSA) have announced the line-up for their joint "SquashFORWARD" initiative.

The programme brings together eight top young players, four men and four women, who are all under the age of 23 and will now become ambassadors for squash.

They will be tasked with actively engaging with future generations and helping to "shape the future of squash as a vibrant and healthy sport".

Included in the group are Egypt's women's world number one Nour El Sherbini and Peru's Diego Elias, who will serve as co-chairs.

WSF President Jacques Fontaine announced the initiative at this year's SportAccord Convention in Bangkok in April.

Also named in the line-up are France's Victor Crouin, Malaysia's Eain Yow Ng, American Marina Stefanoni, Switzerland's Dimitri Steinmann, Ukraine's Nadia Usenko and Japan's Satomi Watanabe.

The group will meet regularly to share their vision of the sport and discuss how to make the game "even more innovative, inclusive and sustainable" than it is today.

Activity will officially begin at the Dutch Junior Open between July 12 and 15 where the group will hold a session with the youngsters taking part.

Squash is still intent on becoming an Olympic sport ©Getty Images
Squash is still intent on becoming an Olympic sport ©Getty Images

A SquashFORWARD report will then be released at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games in October when squash will be demonstrated as a showcase sport.

Much has been made of today's announcement coming on the eve of Olympic Day tomorrow, with the sport still desperate to be accepted as a full Olympic sport.

"SquashFORWARD is an initiative truly driven by the youngest stars of squash, many of whom dream one day to become Olympic champions," said Fontaine. 

"I'm sure this programme will create new thought leaders and help our sport remain at the forefront of what young people seek today from a sport that matches their lifestyles and aspirations."

Alex Gough, chief executive of the PSA, added: "One of the core missions of squash is to provide access to sport to young people all around the world. 

"In dialogue with young players on the SquashFORWARD group we can ensure that we do it in the best possible way."