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Updated: 16 min 34 sec ago

10-Strong Egyptian contingent to contest Chennai Quarters

12 hours 45 min ago

Egyptians stormed en-masse into the last eight of the WSF World Junior Individual Squash Championships in India – where five men (for the first time since 2010) and five women (for the eighth time in the past 15 years) will compete in the quarter-finals of the premier World Squash Federation junior event which moves onto an all-glass showcourt at the Express Avenue Mall in Chennai.

Farida Mohamed, a 13/16 seed, produced the day’s biggest third round upset at the Indian Squash Academy when she defeated Malaysia’s 3/4 seed Aifa Azman to ensure an Egyptian finalist in the women’s event.

The 16-year-old from Alexandria, the younger sister of 2014 champion Habiba Mohamed, took 59 minutes to see off the renowned Malaysian (both pictured above) 15-17, 11-7, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6. Mohamed junior will now face fellow countrywoman Jana Shiha, a 5/8 seed, for a place in the semi-finals.

Singapore’s Sneha Sivakumar continued her giant-killing run in the event to become her country’s first quarter-finalist since 1983. The unseeded 17-year-old, ranked 176 in the world, came through a five game thriller to beat Egypt’s 9/12 seed Ingy Hammouda 7-11, 11-6, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9.

“I didn’t think I had a good draw,” said a delighted Sivakumar (pictured above celebrating her triumph). “But it worked in my favour after two tough matches yesterday and now I’ve got this far without meeting a top four player.

“I never thought for a moment that I’d make the quarters of the World Juniors, I just had to push as hard as I could – at nine-all in the fifth it was crazy, my heart was beating like mad!”

Egypt’s top two women’s seeds Rowan Reda Araby and Hania El Hammamy scored straightforward straight games wins as they progressed towards their anticipated second successive meeting in the final.

Both defeated Malaysians, favourite Araby defeating Chan Yiwen 11-4, 11-5, 11-2, while Hammamy saw off Ooi Kah Yan 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.

“I’m not going into it with any pressure, I’m just trying to enjoy the matches,” said defending champion Araby. “India is fascinating and the Mall looks fabulous, I’m really looking forward to playing on there tomorrow.”

In the men’s event, top seed Marwan Tarek dropped a game against Canada’s George Crowne, but was happy with his progress: “I think I’ve played better each day as I’m getting more used to the conditions,” said the defending champion from Egypt. “Now for a practice at the Mall!”

The 18-year-old from Cairo will play fellow countryman Mostafa Montaser, who survived a torrid five-game battle against compatriot Yehia Elnaswany, saving a match ball before taking the decider 12-10.

“It was so hard, we haven’t played for two years, but he played so well and I was lucky to win in the end,” said Montaser. “Hopefully I can be lucky in my next matches and this will be just the beginning!”

At the other end of the draw, second seed Mostafa Asal also eased into the last eight. The 17-year-old from 6th of October City, the highest-ranked player in the championship, defeated Swiss opponent Yannick Wilhelmi(both pictured above) 11-9, 11-5, 11-8.

The world No.71 will now line up against the event’s sole remaining Mexican Leonel Cardenas after the 18-year-old 5/8 seed, ranked 39 places lower, overcame Canada’s unseeded James Flynn 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3.

COMPLETE RESULTSFULL WORLD JUNIORS COVERAGE

Canadians Charge Through In Chennai

Fri, 20/07/2018 - 02:58

Despite Egyptians securing their anticipated six places in the WSF World Junior Individual Squash Championships men’s last 16 round in India, it was a trio of Canadians who stole the limelight on the second day of action in the premier World Squash Federation junior event at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai.

Julien Gosset, a 13/16 seed from Toronto, claimed his predicted place in the fourth round after despatching Hong Kong’s Chung Yat Long 11-5, 11-4, 11-4 in just 19 minutes. But the 18-year-old was soon unexpectedly joined in the ‘pre-quarter-finals’ by unseeded compatriots James Flynn and George Crowne, both 17.

Flynn, from Toronto, defeated US rival Daelum Mawji, a 9/12 seed, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (both pictured in action above) and will now face Mexico’s 5/8 seed Leonel Cardenas for a place in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile Crowne, also from Ontario, recovered from a game down to upset Englishman Curtis Malik, a 13/16 seed, 4-11, 13-11, 11-4, 11-6 (pictured at the top of the page) – and progresses to line up against Egypt’s defending champion Marwan Tarek, the top seed.

There were two significant upsets in the women’s event which got underway today with two rounds. Unseeded Sneha Sivakumar made history for Singapore by beating England’s 5/8 seed Elise Lazarus 10-12, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6 (both pictured in action below), thereby becoming the first woman from her country to make the event’s last 16 round for 35 years!


Jessica Keng
 took the Malaysian count in the women’s third round to five when the unseeded 15-year-old ousted Hong Kong’s 13/16 seed Chan Sin Yuk 11-9, 12-10, 4-11, 10-12, 11-9 in 50 minutes.

The plucky youngster from Kota Kinabalu will now face England’s Lucy Turmel, a 3/4 seed, for a place in the quarter-finals.

FULL RESULTS & WJ COVERAGE

Top World Junior seeds safely through on day one in Chennai

Thu, 19/07/2018 - 02:55

While Egypt’s defending champion and event favourite Marwan Tarek led all the top 16 seeds safely through to the men’s last 32 round of the WSF World Junior Individual Squash Championships in Chennai, three unseeded Indians survived the first two rounds at the Indian Squash Academy and will provide significant local interest for the hosts on day two.

171 U19 athletes from 27 countries are competing in the premier annual World Squash Federation junior championships for men and women which got underway on Wednesday (with the women’s event starting on Thursday) and will reach their finals on Monday 23 July – and this will be followed by the biennial Men’s World Junior Team Championship from 24-29 July.

Tarek began his title defence with a straightforward 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 second round victory over local player Advait Adik (both pictured in action above). The 18-year-old from Cairo now faces Malaysian Muhammad Amir Amirul Azhar for a place in the last 16.

Event debutant Rahul Baitha, a 17-year-old from India’s largest city Mumbai, earned his place in the third round after overcoming Swiss opponent Nils Roesch 11-5, 12-10, 11-8.

Meanwhile compatriots Veer Chotrani and Yash Fadte, both 16, are making their second appearances in the championships. Chotrani dismissed South African Mikael Ismail 11-8, 11-8, 13-11, while Fadte, from Goa, recovered from a game down to beat Germany’s Abdel-Rahman Ghait 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-6.

FULL RESULTS & WJ COVERAGE

IOC announces the principles for Paris 2024 Olympic Games event programme:

Thu, 19/07/2018 - 02:45

The World Squash Federation (WSF) and the Professional Squash Association (PSA) jointly welcomed today’s announcement made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the new sports selection procedure for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the IOC Executive Board Meeting in Lausanne.

Following the announcement of the principles [that can be found at www.olympic.org/news/future-games-sports-programmes-full-of-passion-and-excitement ], WSF and PSA reiterated squash’s readiness to bid and to demonstrate why the sport will be a great strategic choice for inclusion in the Olympic programme.

Jacques Fontaine, WSF President, and Alex Gough, PSA CEO, commented:

“The whole sport is truly united in our desire to participate in the selection process and to show the strong attributes that squash can bring to the IOC and to Paris 2024 in the context of the on-going New Norm and Agenda 2020 reforms.

“Squash has a vibrant and real forward-looking vision rooted in constant innovation, striving for more inclusiveness and sustainability across all our activities on and outside of the court. We truly believe that we can seamlessly integrate the Olympic programme with a minimal investment and an optimised gender-equal pool of participants, while bringing a lot of additional excitement and spectacular action to the very heart of the host cities.

“We are preparing for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, where squash will be participating as a showcase sport and will be represented by a selection of juniors from around the world on glass courts with impressive interactive features. We are looking forward to giving the Olympic family first-hand experience of what our sport offers.”

WSF & PSA’s SquashFORWARD Initiative begins in Amsterdam

Wed, 18/07/2018 - 10:30

SquashFORWARD – the joint initiative between the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Professional Squash Association (PSA) – officially kicked off its first activity over the weekend with juniors from all four corners of the globe taking part in a series of brainstorming sessions during the Dutch Junior Open in Amsterdam.

SquashFORWARD has been formed with the goal of engaging with the next generation of squash players in order to give them the chance to help shape the future of the sport, and the initiative will help make squash even more innovative, inclusive and sustainable.

Co-chaired by women’s World No.1 Nour El Sherbini and men’s World No.11 Diego Elias, SquashFORWARD members also include France’s Victor Crouin, Malaysia’s Eain Yow Ng, United States’ Marina Stefanoni, Switzerland’s Dimitri Steinmann, Japan’s Satomi Watanabe and Ukraine’s Nadiia Usenko.

Usenko was on the ground in Amsterdam as she spearheaded a series of brainstorming sessions to gather ideas from her fellow juniors.

The sessions centred around the topics of innovation, sustainability, inclusiveness and accessibility and over 50 juniors took part. Comments from the juniors were hugely positive, many of the participants said they liked being included and felt that the process was an important one given that some of them will also be appearing at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games in October, where squash will be present as a showcase sport.

Ideas from these sessions will be taken on board by SquashFORWARD and forward-looking recommendations will be shared in Buenos Aires.

“These focus groups have a huge meaning because such an event has been organised for the first time. Thanks to that, juniors all over the world got an opportunity to exchange their points of view about perspectives of developing squash,” said Usenko, who won the women’s U-19 Dutch Junior Open title in the tournament’s first ever all-Ukrainian final.

“I was happy to be part of these activities at the Dutch Junior Open because I love squash and cannot imagine my life without it. I am ready to do everything in my power to increase the popularity of squash in all corners of the globe and hopefully to see it on the Olympic programme.”

WSF President Jacques Fontaine added: “As the IOC Executive Board members gather in Lausanne this week to discuss key topics that will determine the future of the Olympic Movement, including the Paris 2024 programme, we are excited to witness the future of our own sport being shaped by young players from across the world. The SquashFORWARD initiative will no doubt contribute to enhancing squash’s profile as we bid for inclusion on the Olympic programme.”

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “We’re delighted to see that the inaugural SquashFORWARD activity was a success. SquashFORWARD has been created in order to help us establish a dialogue with the sport’s next generation and we look forward to sharing the findings in Buenos Aires in October.”

Grainger set to provide Masters Gold for hosts USA

Tue, 10/07/2018 - 09:27

Former world No.1 Natalie Grainger is set to provide the sole gold medal for the hosts of the 2018 WSF World Masters Squash Championships in Virginia, USA, next month according to the seedings revealed today by the World Squash Federation.

The 15th edition of the biennial championships – but the first to be held in the USA – will take place at the McArthur Squash Center at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville from 29 July to 4 August 2018.

802 athletes from a record 63 nations have entered the 19 men’s and women’s events in categories ranging from Over-35 to Over-80.

Grainger, who topped the world rankings in 2003, is favourite to lift the Women’s Over-40 title. The UK-born and South Africa-raised 41-year-old is a two-time World Masters champion after prevailing in the Over-35 championship both in 2014 and 2016.

Natalie’s mother Jean Grainger (pictured above during the 2014 championships with daughter Natalie and husband Chris) is also expected to triumph in Charlottesville. With four World Masters titles to her name between 1999 and 2014, the now 75-year-old from Johannesburg is seeded to win gold in the Women’s Over-75 event.

Five-time world champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald leads the Australian charge in Virginia where she is seeded to win a third successive Women’s Over-45 title.

Top 2018 World Masters seeds:

Men’s Over 35: 1 Laurens Jan Anjema (NED), 2 Alister Walker (BOT), 3/4 Wael El Hindi (EGY), Clinton Leeuw (RSA)
Men’s Over 40: 1 Liam Kenny (IRL), 2 Mick Biggs (ENG), 3/4 Lazarus Chilufya (USA), Patrick Chifunda (ZAM)
Men’s Over 45: 1 Nick Taylor (JEY), 2 Zuko Kubukeli (RSA), 3/4 Christian Borgvall (SWE), Adrian Hansen (RSA)
Men’s Over 50: 1 Michael Tootill (RSA), 2 Chris Walker (ENG), 3/4 Hansi Wiens (GER), David Sly (CAN)
Men’s Over 55: 1 Willie Hosey (IRL), 2 Fredrik Johnson (SWE), 3/4 Peter Gilbee (AUS), Brett Martin (AUS)
Men’s Over 60: 1 Geoffrey Davenport (AUS), 2 Jeremy Goulding (ENG), 3/4 Udo Kahl (GER), Pierr Roodt (RSA)
Men’s Over 65: 1 John Macrury (CAY), 2 Ian Graham (ENG), 3/4 Robert Jan Anjema (NED), Wayne Weatherhead (CAN)
Men’s Over 70: 1 Brian Cook (AUS), 2 Barry Featherstone (ENG), 3/4 Norbert Kornyei (USA), Ian Ross (SCO)
Men’s Over 75: 1 Adrian Wright (ENG), 2 Gerald Poulton (CAN), 3/4 John Nelson (USA), Desmond Sacco (RSA)
Men’s Over 80: 1 Lance Kinder (ENG), 2 Barry Gardiner (NZL), 3/4 Edward Burlingame (USA), Stanley Fanaroff (RSA)

Women’s Over 35: 1 Lauren Briggs (ENG), 2 Selina Sinclair (ENG), 3/4 Leah Boody (CAN), Zhenzhen Wu (CHN)
Women’s Over 40: Natalie Grainger (USA), 2 Melissa Martin (AUS), 3/4 Samantha Herbert (RSA), Jacqueline Ryder (RSA)
Women’s Over 45: 1 Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS), 2 Rachel Calver (ENG), 3/4 Shayne Baillie (ENG), Susan Davis (AUS)
Women’s Over 50: 1 Sarah Nelson (AUS), 2 Andrea Santamaria (ENG), 3/4 Hope Prockop (USA), Karen Webb (ZIM)
Women’s Over 55: 1 Susan Hillier (AUS), 2 Fiona McLean (SCO), 3/4 Mandy Akin (ENG), Sue Williams (AUS)
Women’s Over 60: 1 Jill Campion (ENG), 2 Karen Hume (ENG), 3/ 4 Carole Grunberg (USA), Shirley Whitmore (RSA)
Women’s Over 65: 1 Laura Ramsay (CAN) 2 Faith Sinclair (SCO), 3/4 Gaye Mitchell (AUS), Gail White (USA)
Women’s Over 70: 1 Ann Manley (ENG), 2 Robyn Prentice (CAN), 3/4 Bett Dryhurst (ENG), Marilyn Kennedy (AUS)
Women’s Over 75: 1 Jean Grainger (RSA), 2 Barbara Sanderson (IRL), 3/4 Alma Cave (RSA), Joan Witton (ENG)

Official event website: wsfworldmasters.com/

Stretch Yourself in 2018 with #Squash

Sun, 01/07/2018 - 02:36
Try #squash by contacting your
local club or National Federation

FIND YOUR LOCAL SQUASH FEDERATION

S T R E T C H your limits with squash like Brazil’s Bruna Marchesi

“Squash is a huge part of my life. It makes me happy and makes me feel healthy.
Every time I go on court I try to give my best and never ever give up no matter how hard it is to keep going.”

WSF Ambassador visit a ‘Dream Come True’ for Ukraine Squash

Tue, 26/06/2018 - 16:59

The WSF Ambassador Programme visit to Ukraine was a ‘dream come true’ for squash in the country said the Ukrainian Squash Federation President Anastasiia Netrebchuk at the end of an action-packed two-day series of events in the capital Kiev led by Egypt’s three-time world champion Ramy Ashour and France’s British and US Open champion Camille Serme.

Launched in 2011, the World Squash Federation international promotional initiative takes two leading squash players, together with an international coach and referee, into younger squash nations to inspire and help raise the sport’s profile through clinics, exhibition matches, refereeing and coaching seminars, and media presentations.

Ukrainian players, junior and senior, lined up to play Ashour and Serme at the city’s Grand Prix club – while Belgian national coach Ronny Vlassaks enthused coaches from the length and breadth of Ukraine and Belarus on the art of coaching, and Slovenian international referee Marko Podgorsek conducted two well-attended workshops to explain the finer points of refereeing in squash.

It was standing room only at a packed press conference at Grand Prix, where Ukraine Sports Committee President Illia Shevlyak told the media representatives:

I will do everything I can to support squash in Ukraine.

“Squash and the Olympics is a perfect fit – I think squash will be in Paris,” added Shevlyak, who oversees the 47 non-Olympic sports in Ukraine. “It’s a very dynamic sport.

“The Ukrainian Squash Federation, which was only established six years ago, is a brilliant example of what can be done to promote a sport here.

“I am so happy to see so many journalists here, supporting squash.”

When asked about the sport’s inclusion in the programme for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France’s six-time European champion Camille Serme said: “If we make it, I hope I will be able to participate – I’ll only be 35!”

Former world number one Ashour, who played a major part in the 2020 campaign, said: “I’d be very happy if we made it – and would be proud to tell my kids that I helped it happen!”

When asked about his coaching presentations, Vlassaks told the media: “I had 25 coaches in my workshop – which is fantastic!

“You will definitely have a world champion in the future – but first you’ve got to find him or her, then you’ve got to help them develop.”

Squash in Ukraine can trace its roots back to 2000 when Anastasiia Netrebchuk and Semen Lazutenkou both played squash on the country’s sole court at Kiev Sports Club. So enthusiastic was property developer Lazutenkou after a visit to Amsterdam in 2008 to support Ukraine’s first appearance in the European Team Championships that he decided to build the four-court Grand Prix club.

“Last year was a highlight for Ukrainian squash as we competed for the first time in the World Games in Poland,” said Netrebchuk, now the federation’s President. “And now this year our top junior player Nadiia Usenko has been selected as a SquashFORWARD ambassador by the WSF.

“And to top it all, we now have this Ambassador Programme visit. It’s a dream come true for us,” said Netrebchuk. “It’s big step towards developing squash in our country.

“We already have courts in other cities but we need to build even more facilities around the country – not just in Kiev. We want to bring on our juniors and compete in more international events, not only all the European championships including U15, U17 and U19 categories, but also world championships.

“The current success of players like Nadiia Usenko and 17-year-old Alina Bushma, will give other juniors here a focus.”

Usenko is Ukraine’s most successful junior. Currently ranked No.2 in the European U19 rankings, she moves to the USA later this year autumn to start studying at Trinity College in Connecticut.

“I started playing tennis at the age of six but when I saw my parents come home at weekends with trophies for their squash success, I decided to give it a try,” said the 18-year-old from Kiev. “For a time I played both sports, but when I decided I wanted to be a professional athlete, I went for squash.

“I am so happy to be a SquashFORWARD ambassador.”

Later, a farewell reception for the team was attended by Yaroslav Madriy, State Coach of the Sports Ministry, who said: “Squash has really come on in this country in the last few years.

“This Ambassador Programme has been a very good initiative for the sport here. But what makes it so special is that your top athletes are not just visiting us but also giving our players the chance to be with them on court.”

Camille Serme was delighted with her maiden appearance as a WSF Ambassador: “It was an honour to be chosen, for me and for French Squash, and to be here with Ramy made it extra special – he’s such a champion.

“It was my first visit to both countries. People have been so welcoming, it was great to see so many adults and kids happy that we were here – that was good.

“I have seen Nadiia (Usenko) improve a lot over recent years and I think she could become a top player.”

With his impressions of the Ambassador Programme initiative, Ashour added:

“It’s very healthy for the sport, going around the world and having this kind of coverage and being on TV in different countries and different cultures – showing the world what we have got and how cool the sport is. The more we do these things and get the word out there, the more people around the world will understand us.

“I’ve never been to Ukraine or Armenia before so that made it even more special for me. I like to know where squash is in every nation and every culture – I want to be more aware of these kinds of things. I think the WSF is doing a great job promoting the sport by getting us there and pursuing the Olympic dream.

“It’s really been a delight and pleasure to meet so many enthusiastic people. I am very humbled and very grateful to be part of this – it’s been amazing.”

Ronny Vlassaks, who was welcomed back with open arms having presented the first coaching course in Ukraine nine years ago, said:

“Things have developed well over the past nine years. When I first came here there was nothing in terms of coaching, or even players. They’ve done a good job since then.

“Many years ago it was an elite sport here, but now you have clubs which you can just go in and play.

“It surprised me quite a lot just how many junior players we saw here. That’s a good sign and a few will come through, for sure.”

Marko Podgorsek was also pleased with the interest in his workshop:

“There were 15 referees on my course, not only from Ukraine but also from Russia and Belarus.

“Refereeing is better organised here than in many countries, mainly thanks to Robert Wrobel, a Russian who has helped translate the rules into the language of various countries including Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Latvia.

“It was good to be able to add to their basic knowledge of the rules with an insight into where squash refereeing is going and to know what to look out for.”

WSF Chief Executive Andrew Shelley summed up the leadership of Ukraine Squash and their community in general at the media conference, saying:

“You have a strong tradition of boxing in Ukraine – we know the career of the Klitschko brothers, of course – and to borrow a phrase from that sport, Ukrainian Squash definitely punches above its weight!

“You have great squash leadership and a really vibrant community spread across the country. You are achieving international success now too – including new SquashFORWARD member Nadiia Usenko, a top junior who will help shape the future of our sport.

“Squash in Ukraine is in good hands and flourishing, we salute you.”

Since 2011, the WSF Ambassador Programme has visited Latvia, Malawi, Namibia, Panama, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Dalian and Macau in China and last week Armenia.

Grand Prix owner Semen Lazutenkou (seated) flanked by Ukrainian Squash Federation Secretary General Alena Alena Ogonesân, Executive Director of the Federation ; USF Vice President Maksim Urakin; Camille Serme; Anastasiia Netrebchuk; Andrew Shelley; Ramy Ashour, and and Konstantin Rybalchenko, head of the Coaching Committee.

WSF Ambassadors Inspire Armenian Squash

Sun, 24/06/2018 - 08:48

World squash stars Ramy Ashour, the three-time world champion from Egypt, and Camille Serme, British and US Open winner and six-time European champion from France, thrilled fans of the sport in Armenia on the first leg of the 2018 WSF Ambassador Programme visit to the country’s capital Yerevan in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe.

Launched in 2011, the World Squash Federation international promotional initiative takes two leading squash players, together with an international coach and referee, into younger squash nations to inspire and help raise the sport’s profile through clinics, exhibition matches, refereeing and coaching seminars, and media presentations.

Armenia, proud to be the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion early in the 4th century AD, formed its squash federation in 2011 with the construction of three courts – one of which a state-of-the-art all glass showcourt – at the Grand Sport complex in Yerevan.

Grand Sport, boasting numerous sports facilities including an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool, is part of Grand Holding – the biggest holding company in Armenia, which was founded in 1994. The company’s founder is Mikayel Vardanyan, a keen squash player and President of the Armenian Squash Federation.

While Belgian national coach Ronny Vlassaks conducted coaching workshops with Armenian players, and the Slovenian international referee Marko Podgorsek explained the finer points of the rules to budding local referees, Ashour and Serme gave junior and senior players at the club the experience-of-a-lifetime by playing with them on court.

“Ramy is so inspiring,” said Levon Harutyunyan, the 15-year-old twice National (senior) champion from Yerevan after his match with Ashour. “I have watched him on YouTube and now have been able to study his shots. He is amazing!”

Mikayel Vardanyan hosted a press conference for the WSF Ambassadors which attracted widespread media interest, including Armenia TV, Kentron TV and AR TV. Much of the interest was in squash’s bid to join the Olympic Games programme.

”When we were building the Grand Sport complex and the squash courts in 2011 only one per cent of Armenians knew what squash is,” Vardanyan told the media. “I myself regularly play squash as it is very healthy, dynamic and is very good for mental work.

“Whenever we organise activities, the participants always give good feedback and more begin to play.”

Ashour told the attending media:

“Over the years, I have been to many countries and played in many venues – but I am really impressed with the facilities you have here at Grand Sport. You could hold a world championship here!”

After a brief on-court challenge with Ashour, Kentron TV reporter Aram Manukyan interviewed the Egyptian star.

Pakistani Sajid Khan, recently appointed the Armenian National Coach, is based at Grand Sport where he works with several junior and senior players.

“All those involved with squash in Yerevan are delighted that two legends of squash have come here,” said Khan. “It’s a real tonic for Armenian squash.

“It will change many things in the history of squash here – it’s the first step in pushing the game forward in Armenia.

“My students are so excited – even I am excited!

“We now need to establish a good junior programme here.”

The visit was hailed as a great success by the Armenian Federation:

“It’s been very helpful having such great champions as Ramy and Camille with us here. They are our players’ heroes,” said Secretary General Astghik Aghababyan.

“The visit helped us to get interest from the media and we hope that it will inspire more people to play squash.

“Spending time with Ramy and Camille, and playing with them, has helped our players realise how much hard work and training it takes to become a top player.

“They also benefitted from the expert coaching and refereeing workshops provided by Ronny and Marko.

“I hope that we will be able to look forward to one of the results of this WSF initiative in the future being more courts in Armenia outside Yerevan,” Aghababyan continued. “At the moment, the only courts we have are in our capital so it’s only our juniors in Yerevan who have the opportunity to play.

“We need to begin to focus on our schools and persuade them to bring pupils to our courts, so that they can see that squash is not only a physical and mental sport, but also healthy.

“Hopefully it won’t be long before we will be able send teams to the European Championships, and even the World Championships, in the near future.

“But overall, your visit has given us more self-confidence that we can engage with the world of squash,” Aghababyan concluded. “This has been such a boost for us and our junior players.”

WSF CEO Andrew Shelley added:

We mount these visits to inspire national squash communities, but they energise the Ambassadors too. To join with such an energetic and motivated group of squash leaders and players has been a great experience for the group as they gave their time freely in every sense of the word. I have no doubt that squash in Armenia will flourish in the years to come.”

Since 2011, the WSF Ambassador Programme has visited Latvia, Malawi, Namibia, Panama, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, Serbia, Romania, Croatia, and Dalian and Macau in China. The 2018 team now move onto the Ukraine capital Kiev.



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