World Squash Day 2021 is 100 days away today! And squash federations all over the globe are already making plans for some spectacular events to promote the sport on Saturday October 9th.
The theme of this year’s 20th anniversary edition is to put the fun back into squash after a difficult year for the sport caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In New Zealand, advanced plans are already in place for World Squash Day to provide a platform to showcase the sport.
Squash New Zealand is aiming for a renewed positivity and way forward, looking towards its future with a unified approach led by the launch of the 2021-24 Strategic Direction, We are Squash New Zealand – Poipātū Aotearoa.
Squash NZ Chief Executive Martin Dowson said: “There are four strategic priorities with a key focus being the cultural shift ‘kotahitanga’.
“We have a common vision and approach from all 11 Districts who have signed on to the Strategic Direction. We will establish stronger links with the wider squash and general community.
“In it, ‘Our Purpose’ recognises the health and happiness outcomes of playing squash and belonging to a club.
“Our focus is on keeping and creating more vibrancy . We want to support clubs’ sustainability and inspire the public by showcasing our players, events, clubs and volunteers.
“This is the 20th anniversary of World Squash Day and as the first country to welcome in the new day we can also promote our new vision and purpose.
“The sport is blessed with Paul Coll and Joelle King on the world stage as well as our domestic players and events showcasing the sport with improving PSA world rankings.
“Now it is the opportunity to highlight many of our clubs and the sport within New Zealand and how it can improve lifestyles, via connectivity, sense of belonging, fun and enhance our wellbeing.
“Squash New Zealand and the Districts have agreed to work with the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation as the charity for the World Squash Day. The charity fits well. We both support healthy lifestyles and we look forward to a meaningful relationship that provides good health outcomes for NZers.
“Resources to make World Squash Day as positive and proactive, are being put together along with ways to support the Mental Health Foundation and the community.
“The focus is to celebrate the value of squash for the community and supporting mental health at the same time.”
Adriana Olaya, Manager of the PSA Foundation, added: “We are thrilled to be part of the 20th birthday celebrations of World Squash Day. The squash community is the heart of the PSA Foundation and this special date is a celebration of our shared love for squash all over the world.
“It’s a crucial time for the squash community to come together after so many challenges and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.
“We are honoured and thrilled to once again be the partner charity for World Squash Day and we can’t wait for October 9th to celebrate squash together!”
WSD founder Alan Thatcher, from England, said: “It’s great to see New Zealand leading the way with some solid planning.
“World Squash Day provides a platform for the global squash community to work together to grow the game and this year’s 20th anniversary is the most important edition yet.
“Federations large and small across the world are devising plans to help the game bounce back with some brilliant events in October.
“Everyone is working hard to relaunch the game and entice back those casual users who are eager to return to their favourite clubs and rediscover the joyful social atmosphere that accompanies squash.
“Huge energy is also going in to promote the fact that squash is the ideal sport for modern lifestyles, especially for young adults who have so many options available to them.
“I am seeing and hearing a healthy degree of optimism, with a global conversation developing about open-air courts making the game more visible and more fun.“
World Squash Federation (WSF) Chief Executive William Louis-Marie said: “World Squash Day represents a unique opportunity for the entire squash community to join and celebrate our sport.
“As many of our Federations resume their activities, with many clubs experiencing a high level of occupancy of the courts, the WSF is delighted to contribute to this 20th anniversary and showcase the fun part of our sport to a wider audience across the world.”