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HOW SQUASH MADE IT TO LA28 - Squash Summit, Day One

Squash making it to LA28 was no easy road, bids have come and gone in the past, money, time and effort spent every bid to fall short every time; sometimes by a margin of a few votes.

The next session of Day One at the Squash Summit saw a panel discussion including

  • World Squash Federation President - Zena Wooldridge OBE

  • Professional Squash Association CEO - Alex Gough

  • US Squash President and CEO - Kevin Klipstein

  • Skateboarding GB CEO - James Hope-Gill (Olympic sport since 2020)

  • And Moderator: Rowena Samarasinhe

The conversation revolved around the challenges of skateboarding's inclusion in the LA 28 Olympics, with speakers discussing community resistance, unfamiliarity with the sport, and balancing authenticity with relevance. The Skateboarding community has been divided over Olympic inclusion, with some wanting the sport's unique culture to be preserved. But youth engagement, accessibility, and legacy are key factors in the sport's potential benefits from Olympic inclusion.

The panel emphasized the importance of collaboration and partnership in the successful bid for LA28 but also for the next bid for the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane which takes place in 2027.

Funding was also discussed and the new funding maybe made available by Squash being an Olympic sport, Zena Wooldridge said "I think the main beneficiaries of being an Olympic are going to be the national federations who now are more aligned with the National Olympic Committee. Some National Federations will be able to apply for development funding through the Olympics solidarity Fund"

Finally, the group discussed strategies to grow squash as a global sport, including collaboration with other continental federations and with other sports, leveraging social media platforms and growing the reach of the sport globally.


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