Squash Canada Statement Regarding Pan Am Games 2023

2020-03-09

OTTAWA, ON, March 9, 2020 – Squash Canada is disappointed but remains hopeful after receiving the recent PanAm Sports Organization announcement that the list of sports to be included in the 2023 Pan Am Games does not currently include squash.  The PanAm Sports Executive Committee have proposed Baseball/Softball, Karate, Roller Sports, Surfing and Water Skiing to join 28 Olympic Sports as part of the sport program when they convene in Santiago, Chile from October 20th to November 5th, 2023.

The door has been left open for additional sports to possibly be added at the next PanAm Sports meetings in June, on the condition that it does not add infrastructure expense to organizers.  Following a very well received pitch by the World Squash Federation (WSF) and Federacion Panamericana de Squash’s (FPS) in a face to face meeting on March 4th with the Chilean organizers and PanAm Sports, squash remains under strong add-on consideration.  The WSF & FPS are now working diligently on a proposal for a ‘no infrastructure cost’ version of a squash event that will prove its financial viability.

The PanAm Sports Organization had undertaken a review of the sports program, much like the International Olympic Committee had done with the Summer Olympic Games, largely to contain the escalating size and expense of hosting such major Games.  In 2019, the organization had announced that it would cap non-Olympic sports to six, three to be determined by PanAm Sports and three brought forward by the 2023 host Chilean organizers.

“Squash Canada remains confident that the appeal of world-class level squash competition and the wonderful high intensity and atmospheric contribution our sport can bring to a sports facility, will ensure that squash remains in the Pan Am program”, said Steve Wren, Squash Canada President.  “Many countries within the Pan Am Region, in conjunction with Canada, count on squash as one of their leading sports to gain success and measure on their progressive development.

Our younger generation aspire for Pan Am glory like their predecessors, and we look forward to ensuring their pathway is upheld in the sound consideration by our colleagues in the delivery of future Games’ models.”

Squash made its debut at the 1995 Pan Am Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina and each Games since then.  Canadian squashers have always shined on this International stage by bringing home over 40 medals from the last seven Games, including most recently a record setting 7 medals at the 2019 Games in Lima, Peru. 

There are other positive signs for squash.  The current sport program decisions taken relate only to the 2023 Pan Am Games.  There will be an opportunity to be added for the 2027 Games.  Squash is also buoyed by the PanAm Sports Organization’s creation of a new Pan Am Youth Games, which in its first 2021 edition will include squash in Cali, Colombia.  Squash will feature there with a U21 men’s and women’s team and doubles events, as well as a mixed doubles event.

For the news release “PANAM SPORTS DEFINES SANTIAGO 2023 PAN AMERICAN GAMES SPORT PROGRAM” Click Here

To view the WSF-FPS promo video presented as part of its March 4th pitch to PanAM Sports and Chilean organizers, click here.

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