With three weeks to go, World Squash Day has already attracted over 400 clubs and 20,020 players to back the sport’s 2020 Olympic bid.
The players have signed up to take part in the biggest squash match in history on October 20th to support the World Squash Federation’s Olympic ambitions.
WSF Chief Executive Andrew Shelley said: “This is a phenomenal milestone to reach, with almost a month to go before World Squash Day actually happens, and we can confidently expect that figure to rise significantly as more clubs join in this fantastic project.
“The list of clubs who signed up this week includes groups from Japan, Singapore, Finland, Liechtenstein, Brazil, Estonia, Russia, Malta, Belgium, Qatar, Uganda and the Cook Islands, plus St Vincent and The Grenadines, as well as all the bigger squash nations. It really is a truly global spread.”
WSD founder Alan Thatcher said: “We quickly moved forward from 10,000 players to 15,000 and in a matter of days we could see we were getting close to 20,000. I wanted to witness that historic moment and stayed up half the night to see it happen.
“Kooyong Squash Club registered their event just before 3am and the number of players they registered took the total number just beyond 20,020. I Tweeted the news to the world, and went to bed a very happy man!”
Thatcher added: “The person who deserves the credit is Victoria Clark, from Merseyside, England, who came up with the idea of having players signing up worldwide to compete in two teams, Team Squash and Team 2020.
“The whole project has really brought the worldwide squash community together to support the bid and we hope the IOC take note of the passion and support for our leading players to take their rightful place on the world’s greatest sporting stage.
“The 2020 Bid is supported by so many leading players, including women’s world champion Nicol David from Malaysia, and England’s great rivals Nick Matthew and James Willstrop.
“They were extremely articulate in describing their bitter-sweet feelings about the London Games. They could all understand how squash’s presence in the Games would provide a massive boost for the sport, and they were bitterly disappointed at not being able to take part in such a fantastic event while at the peak of their careers.
“Hopefully that will change in 2020.”
Colin Cruickshank, the Kooyong event organiser, is planning major event at the club situated in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. He said: “We are hoping to have players from 16 pennant teams taking part on the day.”