World Squash Day enters into the 17th year and SSRA wants to be part of it!
The World Squash Day celebrates its 17th anniversary this year on 13 October 2018 and Singapore Squash are happy to be part of it. Luckily for us, it coincides with the 5th leg of the SGSquash Senior Circuit and we are taking the opportunity to further showcase our sport together with the rest of the world.
The World Squash Day was first founded on 11 February 2002 by Alan Thatcher, a world renowned squash journalist and emcee to some of the biggest PSA events on the calendar. It was started in wake of the Sept 11 attacks, in honour of Derek Sword, a former Scottish junior, who was killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. He was a close friend of former world number one Peter Nicol, Martin Heath and Laurie Maclaclan, who were all former junior teammates.
In the beginning, Wold Squash Day was celebrated with a friendly contest between the New York Athletic Club and the now defunct Lambs Club of London. But over the years, it has evolved into a celebration globally where clubs and groups of people are using it to showcase the beauty of our sport. It was also used as a major platform to lobby for the sport into the Olympic Games. While we have not been successful so far, it hasn’t stopped us continuing our quest.
2015 marked a big year for the World Squash Day as they tied up with UNICEF in a bid to raise funds for the cause. Squash clubs worldwide, together with the support of the world’s best players, joined hands in creating activities that included auctions of autographed memorabilia on eBay.
2016 was also a year to remember as the efforts to raise funds for UNICEF continued, plus efforts to help the Malik family. One of their six children, Sumner Malik was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare form of brain cancer that attacked young children. Sadly, Sumner has recently passed away having fought the disease for over two years, which is over and beyond what the doctors had predicted – that he’ll have less than a year to live.
World Squash Day has also opened opportunities to the underprivileged. One such person who has helped in that cause is Malaysia’s Sharon Wee, the former world number 18. She had a half day event a few years ago with more than 60 children from orphanages participate.
This year, Singapore Squash has decided to take lead on the World Squash Day activities and also raise funds for our underprivileged community. Over the duration of the circuit beginning 10 October through to 14 October, we will be having a fund raiser game from the 11th to the 13th, where donors will stand opportunities to win attractive prizes including rackets and bags, thanks to our sponsor Ever Triumph Marketing & Resources Pte Ltd. You may view the rules of the game here or drop by the registration counter and ask us all about it during those dates.
Singapore is not new to the World Squash Day, with the Singapore Cricket Club being a regular in organising coaching clinics and friendly games. Amongst one of the more unique ones was in 2015 where games were played over the duration of 15 minutes instead of the conventional 11 points.
Social groups Angry Birds had also in 2015 held an open day with an introductory squash clinic on a bid to woo newcomers to the game and then in 2016 ran a fund raising t-shirt sale in aid of Sumner Malik.
Squash Buddy, another active social group, who works on a pay per session method, had in 2016 donated their entire week’s fees to the World Squash Day-UNICEF fund.
Singapore Squash would strongly encourage all local clubs and social groups to do their part in making this day special in their very own way.
As former world number one Nick Matthew said, “Every champion began playing in their local squash club. I know I did. The wonderful thing about squash is that it creates lifelong friendships. Two players can be hugely competitive on court during their match and then go for a drink together afterwards. World Squash Day gives us the opportunity to showcase the sport and show the rest of the world what they are missing.”