The Management Committee of the World Squash Federation, led by its new President N Ramachandran, has set up a top level task force to lead the sport’s bid to join the Olympic Games program in 2016.
The decision was taken at the first meeting of the committee since Ramachandran succeeded Jahangir Khan as the Federation’s President in October.
At the two-day event in Chennai, India, on 13/14 December, the committee also co-opted Frank van Loon (Netherlands) as Vice President to strengthen the committee, and appointed Dr George Mieras (Scotland) as company secretary.
The primary topic for discussion and action over the next 10 months was Squash’s bid to be accepted as a sport at the 2016 Olympic Games.
The key milestones are:
- SportAccord meeting in Denver, USA, in March 2009. The WSF delegation, led by N Ramachandran, will also include former Presidents Susie Simcock and Jahangir Khan.
- Response to detailed questionnaire from IOC program commission by March/April 2009, demonstrating the sport’s universality; compliance with IOC ethics and standards; as well as values that Squash can bring to the Games
- Critical presentation to IOC Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland, in June 2009 by the World Squash team led by His Royal Highness Tunku Imran along with WSF President N Ramachandran, former Emeritus President Susie Simcock, and leading athletes
- Decision in October 2009 on which two sports to be added to the Olympic Games 2016 will be made by the IOC session in Copenhagen. World Squash will be present with a delegation led by President N Ramachandran, Vice Presidents and athletes
The Olympic Task Force will be headed by Frank van Loon, assisted by fellow WSF Vice President Chris Stahl and George Mieras, together with Olympic Coordinator Ted Wallbutton. The twofold aims of the new task force will be to:
- Promote the case for Squash through its members, athletes and supporters worldwide
- Encourage fund-raising in support of Squash’s bid and final presentation using direct approaches to WSF members and by using the internet to approach all those Squash players and enthusiasts worldwide who would like to support the campaign
The task force will include athletes from the professional players’ associations (PSA and WISPA)—leading members of which have signed a memorandum of understanding committing themselves to full support of the bid and participation in the Olympic Games.