Call for squash in­clu­sion in Olympic Games

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo @skhu­moyo2000

SPORT and Re­cre­ation Min­is­ter Makhosini Hlong­wane has called for the in­clu­sion of squash in the Olympic Games.

Speak­ing af­ter of­fi­ci­at­ing at the Zim­babwe Squash Open cham­pi­onship held at the Sub­urbs Squash Club in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day, Hlong­wane said there was no rea­son squash is not on the Olympics menu.

Play­ers from Bel­gium, Ire­land, South Africa and hosts Zim­babwe took part in the cham­pi­onship.

“I cer­tainly see no rea­son why squash is not at the Olympics and as Min­is­ter of Sport in the coun­try, I’m say­ing let’s have squash at the Olympics; it will ce­ment even fur­ther the spirit of Olymp­ism,” said Hlong­wane.

He said the ex­clu­sion of squash at the Olympics had not helped the sport de­velop as it was not ben­e­fit­ing fi­nan­cially from the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee.

Hlong­wane said his min­istry en­cour­aged ex­cel­lence and in­clu­sive­ness in sports as well as part­ner­ships.

“In mov­ing to ex­cel­lence, we en­deav­our to cre­ate the con­di­tions for ac­cess and mass par­tic­i­pa­tion, tal­ent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and skills de­vel­op­ment.

“Ex­cel­lence in sport­ing codes re­quires ded­i­ca­tion, mo­ti­va­tion and many hours of prac­tice, but also most im­por­tantly sup­port and en­cour­age­ment from fam­ily, friends, coaches and man­agers,” Hlong­wane said.

He urged squash ad­min­is­tra­tors to con­tinue de­vel­op­ing the sport in schools and col­leges, say­ing stu­dents needed to be en­cour­aged to con­tinue play­ing the sport even af­ter school.

“I’m de­lighted by the level of sup­port that squash has re­ceived from par­ents and it is my hope that the re­la­tion­ship be­tween squash and the com­mu­nity will con­tinue to blos­som for the bet­ter­ment of our sport and squash in par­tic­u­lar.”

South Africa’s Christo Pot­gi­eteh won the sin­gles’ tour­na­ment af­ter de­feat­ing his coun­try­man Jimmy Sch­le­busch in the fi­nal.

Ken Mwape from Zam­bia was third. In the men’s plate sec­tion, Du­misani Mvundla got gold at the ex­pense of Tafadzwa Mushunje. Zoe Hall from Ire­land beat Yvonne Mubure in the ladies’ fi­nal.

Christo Pot­gi­eter and his part­ner Jimmy Sch­le­busch won gold in the men’s dou­bles fi­nal against Mike Burns and Neil Nes­bit of Zim­babwe.

The vet­er­ans’ bat­tle was won by Peter Cun­ning­ham, who beat Fred­die Chishimba.

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