Call for squash inclusion in Olympic Games
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.