On the day of the Men’s World Squash Team Championship final, which will be played between favourites England and title-holders Egypt in Paderborn, Germany, WSF President Ramachandran has praised the tournament for setting new standards in the organisation and presentation of Squash.
WSF President Ramachandran said: “Paderborn has proved to be a first class venue but it has also raised the bar in terms of how Squash can be presented to fans and sponsors. Over seven thousand spectators have attended the event so far this week and we’ve had an incredible atmosphere. The tournament has seen some exciting new innovations including using lights and music between each match on our show court to build excitement and really get the spectators engaged. 110 countries have taken live streaming of the games, all screened in HD.
“I am delighted to see these exciting innovations being embraced by our tournament partners as they can only help in our ambition to become an Olympic sport. It is now important that the sport builds on this momentum as we move forward and build our case for Olympic Games inclusion with the IOC and other influencers.”
World No 1 Nick Matthew echoed President Ramachandran’s comments, saying: “There has been a great buzz right across the tournament and the way music and the court lighting have been used to pump up the crowd has been great and really added to the atmosphere. This sort of innovation can only help in our goal to become an Olympic sport.”
World No 3 Karim Darwish said: “The tournament has been a great showcase for Squash and our goal to be included in the 2020 Olympic Games. I cannot think of a greater honour than to represent my country in the Olympic Games. It would mean so much to me and would be the absolute pinnacle of my career.”
The 2011 WSF Men’s World Squash Championship, the 23rd staging of the biennial event first held in 1967, is being staged in Germany for the first time. The event, featuring a record 32 nations and more than 120 athletes, is being hosted by the 10-court Paderborn Squash Club, the six-time European Club champions. The club is based at the Ahorn-Sportpark, which is also the national centre for seven German sports. A management team of ten, plus 160 volunteers, has attracted more than 7,000 paying spectators as well as exceeding its income target of 430,000 Euros.
The centrepiece of the event has been the very latest all-glass showcourt produced by leading international squash court constructor ASB. Featuring new larger glass panels, providing an enhanced experience for both athletes and spectators, the unique all-blue court also boasts air conditioning and an entirely new floor.
The court has not only been the focus of world-class squash action, but also entertainment provided by Germany’s famous GOP Entertainment-Group – with all presentation masterminded by Lightpower, the internationally-renowned stage lighting and show technology company famed for its work on recent tours by artists like Barry Manilow, Bruce Springsteen and Take That.
The event website has uniquely provided live scoring of all 336 matches which has attracted some 50,000 visitors over the week. All 14 ties on the all-glass showcourt have been streamed live both via the website to 110 countries, and also on the international online sports TV LAOLA1.tv.