Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Singapore Squash: Time to recreate our past glory

Singapore Squash to introduce sport to primary schools By Patwant Singh, Channel NewsAsia

Singapore squash, a powerhouse in the region two decades ago, wants to make a comeback. Targeting the youth is one way to get the sport swinging again, and Singapore's hosting of the 1st Asian Junior Individual Squash Championship is timely. 96 participants from eight countries are here to compete. Singapore is fielding some promising youngsters, for both the Under-15 and Under-19 categories. The event was made possible with some generous sponsors, but the sport needs more. Teo Ser Luck, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, said: "As a Ministry, we need to work very closely with SSC as well as the NSAs like Squash (Singapore Squash Rackets Association), in order to find out what exactly they need so that we can revive the sport of squash. We have the potential to be world beaters in this sport. We have been there before - sixth in the world in our heyday - and maybe it's time to bring back the good old days." The Singapore Squash Rackets Association hopes to do so by reaching out to the very young. Mini squash for primary schools will be introduced next year. Desmond Hill, president of the Singapore Squash Rackets Association, said: "We are actually drawing the scheme from one that was done by Hong Kong Squash Association. They have got a very successful junior development programme and I think we can learn from them." Using portable courts, mini squash can be set up anywhere in the school. The idea is to make it fun for the kids. Four schools will be targeted during the roadshows in October. - CNA/ir

S C Huang: I recall the days when local squash icons like Zainal Abidin, Peter Hill,Steward Ballard,Jeremy Yeo dominated the squash headlines not just in Singapore but all around the region. If my memory serves me right, we were second only to Pakistan in Asia. Who can forget their Jehangir Khan and Jenshar Khan?
In those days, all and sundry would swarm to the squash courts after school ( or in lieu of school- ha ha) and I even sneaked into SICC masquerading as a sibling of a classmate whose father was a member there. Such was our desperation to hit the ball!
Just as inexplicably, the craze faded about a decade later and the squash courts in the clubs and condos were quickly converted for other sports ( eg pingpong).
The Malaysian kids then became better and hungrier for success and the rest , as they say, is history. Now they have a lady's world champion in Nicole David.
I hope that Mr. Hill ( Peter's father izit?) can rekindle the interest and make us a "squashing" champion again. We need some heroes! Good Luck


HC Chew said...

Hi SC,

Thanks for your comments. Desmond Hill is the brother of Peter. There is a new team at Singapore Squash Rackets Association (SSRA) and our objective is to like you rightly identify "recreate our past glory"

The Asian junior is our first step and our juniors have been training very hard for the last 2 months training 5 times a week. We are beginning to see some results as a number of our boys and girls have made it to the quarter finals.

Enlarging our base is the next step as that is why SSRA will be introducing mini squash to the primary schools.

We are also organizing a movie preview inJuly to raise funds as without funds, we cannot achieve a lot of our objectives. we hope to have a lot of support from all our squash playing and loving community.

Just another S'porean said...

Hee hee....yeap, I remembered all these names too. My hubby is an ardent squash player and is still playing competitively in Toronto.

Well, the Canadians are turning their heads and wonder "why this guy come from?" kekekeke~~~~

And hey, Desmond was my school's head prefect. Oops, I am dating myself. Tsk....tsk....

just another s'porean said...

oops, i made an error. i meant to write "where this guy come from?"