In the wake of the victory by Queensland’s Gold Coast to secure the right to stage the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Squash Australia CEO Gary O’Donnell says that the Games will leave a lasting legacy for the sport of squash in Australia.
The squash tournament will be held at the redeveloped Runaway Bay Sports Complex, which will also host the weightlifting competition.
A temporary show court will be built at Runaway Bay, along with a permanent centre featuring six singles courts and four courts that can be adjusted to cater for both singles and doubles.
“This is an excellent outcome for our sport and ensures squash will continue to have a high profile in one of Australia’s fastest growing areas,” added O’Donnell.
Despite it being an indoor sport, squash has always enjoyed good support and success on the Gold Coast. Australian squash legend Geoff Hunt has his family house there, and former world champion Rodney Eyles lives and coaches on the Coast, as does former world number two Brett Martin, one of the famous Martin siblings who dominated world squash in the 1980s.
A new generation of squash stars is also developing on the Gold Coast and should be in their prime by 2018, including Australian junior women’s representative Challen Stowell and Queensland Under-15 champion Will Mountford-Jones.
“Winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal is one of the highest honours in world squash,” O’Donnell said. “Australia has a proud record at the Commonwealth Games since the sport was introduced in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, winning seven gold medals, eight silvers and 11 bronzes over that period.
“Squash is relishing the chance to show the Australian sporting public how much it has changed over the past decade and just how dynamic and exciting the sport has become.
“On behalf of the Australian squash community I want to congratulate the excellent work by the Gold Coast bid team in winning the Games.
“Their hard work and professionalism has paid enormous dividends, not only for the sports involved, but for the whole Gold Coast community.”