Squash New Zealand Poipātū Aotearoa Thrilled with Olympic Inclusion16 Oct 2023
Squash New Zealand Poipātū Aotearoa is thrilled squash has been included on the Olympic Games programme for LA 2028.
Squash is one of five new sports confirmed for the LA Games, following voting this evening at an IOC Session in India.
Squash New Zealand Poipātū Aotearoa Chief Executive Martin Dowson says it’s great news for the sport and for New Zealand.
“Our squash community is celebrating today,” said Dowson.
“Having squash at the Olympic Games provides great exposure for the sport we love, and we hope this will inspire even more New Zealanders to take up the sport.
“New Zealand has a really proud legacy in squash, we’ve produced some amazing athletes over the years and it’d be really special to see a New Zealand squash player on the Olympic podium.”
Squash is played in 185 countries around the world and is renowned for its gender equity with the sport popular with both men and women. It is also ranked the healthiest sport in the world by Forbes, due to the impressive cardio-respiratory workout a squash match provides.
The sport is exploding in popularity in the US, especially among young people, with an 87 per cent increase in squash participation between 2015 and 2019.
Fresh off winning the US Open of Squash New Zealand’s Paul Coll says it’d be a dream come true to go to the Olympic Games.
“I’d be 36 by that point so definitely getting on a bit but I’d love to give it a go if the body’s still up to it,” said Coll.
“My Commonwealth Games experiences have been unreal, it’s such a cool environment and the Olympics is a whole level up from that so it’d be amazing to get to experience that.
He says it’s fantastic squash has been added to the Olympic programme.
“I love this sport, it’s a great sport to play, it’s great for fitness, it’s great for community and it’s a lot of fun, so I’m really pleased to see it getting a place at the Olympic Games.”
Other sports added to the Olympic programme include cricket, lacrosse, flag football and baseball/softball. The LA 2028 squash competition will consist of singles matches only.