Stakeholders applaud inclusion of squash in LA2028 Olympics

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By Aderonke Ojediran

Stakeholders have applauded the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to officially include squash in the Los Angeles LA28 Olympic Games.

The World Squash Federation (WSF), U.S. Squash and the Professional Squash Association (PSA) on Tuesday extended their gratitude to the Organising Committee of the LA28 Olympic Games and the IOC for including squash.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the IOC announced the inclusion of squash in the Los Angeles LA28 Olympic Games on Monday.

A statement on WSF’s website by its President, Zena Wooldridge, said: “On behalf of the entire global squash community, I would like to express my immense delight at squash’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games.

“Squash is an amazingly dynamic, diverse and demanding sport that is perfectly suited for the Olympic Games.

“Everyone involved in our sport is elated to be LA28 bound and we look forward to being part of an unparalleled Olympic Games experience.”

U.S. Squash Chief Executive, Kevin Klipstein, said: “The inclusion of squash in the LA28 Olympic Games is a significant breakthrough for the sport.

“Being part of the Olympic Games has been a long-held goal for the squash community, and inclusion will serve as a catalyst to increase awareness of what is already a major participatory sport globally with a long and diverse history.

“Access to the sport and the opportunities it provides will continue to increase for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

“We look forward to supporting our Team USA and the squash community in the lead up to – and beyond.”

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PSA Chief Executive, Alex Gough, had this to say: “Our athletes have worked tirelessly to earn this recognition and we are grateful for the opportunity to see them compete for glory at the LA28 Olympic Games.

“This inclusion, this momentous decision provides squash’s world-class athletes the opportunity to compete on the biggest sporting stage in the world, with two medal events – men’s and women’s singles competitions.

“This marks a significant milestone in squash’s journey, and I look forward to watching our players inspire the world with their incredible skill and athleticism on the biggest stage of all.”

Some squash enthusiasts who spoke to NAN on Monday said the inclusion of squash in the LA28 Olympic Games would help the IOC and LA28 advance the mission to “deliver an unparalleled experience” for athletes and fans.

Boye Oyerinde the President Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) described the development as a good one for the development of squash.

“It is such a great time to be alive to see the inclusion of the game we love on world stage, this is a welcome development. It will give our players something to look forward to,” he said.

Tomi Falase, the Chairman Lagos State Squash Association, said the idea of players competing on the world stage will make squash highly competitive.

“This is a great development, I believe this will make squash more competitive because players will give their utmost best to represent the country internationally.

“I believe that with this development we’d have more sponsors coming on board to sponsor tournaments and even adopt talents to sponsor,” he said.

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Busayo Olatunji, the number two ranked female player in the country, said  the possibility of representing the country at the Olympics was exciting.

“I’m so happy, because it’s something we’ve been waiting for. There’s more to look out for.

“I hope all squash enthusiasts will key into this new development, so we players can thrive without being distracted about sponsorship,” she said.

Also applauding the inclusion squash in Olympics was Yusuf Durosinlorun, the Technical Director of the NSF, who said that with the rising profile of squash, players could soar higher.

“I’m happy about this development. This will further add value to the players; representing the country at the Olympics is a big deal.

“Hopefully it will attract more corporate sponsors to the beautiful game of squash. Congratulations to us all,” he said.

Onaopemipo Adegoke, the number one ranked male player in the country told NAN that, “it’s a great time to be a squash player, I’d be looking forward to representing Nigeria at world stage,” he said.

Similarly, Seun Peters, a former President of the Professional Squash Players Association of (Nigeria), applauded the inclusion of squash in Olympic games.

“Maybe I’d dust off my shoes and start playing, this is a great news for our players, they have a lot to look forward to.

“The level of competitiveness will be top notch, and squash will be better for it,” he said.

Wasiu Sanni, retired coach, told NAN that being alive to see squash at the Olympics was great.

“The battle for the inclusion of squash has come a long way and I’m glad that I’m alive to witness this. 2028 is around the corner, I pray God spares our lives till then,” he said.

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Squash enthusiasts, Biyi Mabadeje and Ebi Ogionwo, describe the inclusion as brilliant and exciting. (NAN) (www.nanews.ng)

Edited by Salif Atojoko

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