Monday September 10, 2012
Flashmob, a tool to promote squash
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
KUALA LUMPUR: The top men and women squash players in the world will put on their dancing shoes in a bid to put squash into the 2020 Olympic Games.
Led by world No. 1 and Malaysian squash queen Nicol David, a host of notable names including top Malaysian players Low Wee Wern, Delia Arnold and Ong Beng Hee will be showing off their finest moves by doing flashmob performances at The Curve, Mutiara Damansara this evening.
They will be joined by England’s Laura Massaro, Jenny Duncalf and Egypt’s Mohamed El Shorbagy with the flashmob display scheduled to begin at 7pm.
Nicol, who mooted the flashmob idea to create awareness for the sport, believes that it will be more effective when all the top players gather together to push for squash to be in the Olympics.
“I had the idea of creating more awareness for squash and some of my friends back in Penang decided that it’ll be great to do the flashmob and we basically decided to go ahead with it,” said Nicol who is back in town for the CIMB Malaysian Open which starts today as well.
“Initially I was just asking a few others from the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) Tour but it turns out that all of them who are here for the Malaysian Open are interested in participating, which is great.
“Even the guys from the Professional Squash Association (PSA) were interested and it will certainly help push squash to be included in the Games.”
Nicol, however, added that the flashmob was not the only tool they had to promote squash as there are several other avenues to attract the attention of the International Olympic Council (IOC), who will convene next year to decide which one of the eight sports – squash, karate, wushu, roller sport, baseball, sport climbing, wakeboarding and beach soccer – gets into the 2020 Games.
“Watching the Olympics in London a month ago was really heartbreaking knowing that squash is not a part of it and it just doesn’t seem right,” said the six-time world champion.
“We got really close in the two previous bids but we were just not good enough by the IOC’s standard.
“But we’ve learned a lot from the previous bids and we’re campaigning even harder this time with new tools such as HD (high definition) video presentations to the IOC.
“The BackTheBid2020 campaign was initiated last year and the online campaigning has really played a major role in creating awareness.
“I’m aware that squash is not the favourite to get into the Games but we’re focused on doing our part right and getting our campaign on the right track.
“Getting positive feedback from people who want to see squash in the Olympics also gives us a lot of hope and we’re really trying to get into the IOC’s good books,” added Nicol.
The Amsterdam-based Penangite, also fulfilled her duties as a squash ambassador for the World Squash Federation (WSF) when she visited Latvia and Namibia to help kickstart squash programmes and promote the sport.
Meanwhile, Nicol who is going for her eighth consecutive Malaysian Open title will only begin her title defence tomorrow against a qualifier.