WSF Hails Women Ambassadors At Amsterdam World Championships
26 Sep 2004
At a special dinner hosted by the Netherlands Squash Bond to welcome players and officials to the 2004 Women's World Team Championships in Amsterdam, World Squash Federation Chief Executive Ted Wallbutton praised women's squash as being 'one of the aces in our pack' in the sport's bid to be included on the Olympic Games programme.
"This is a special time for squash," Wallbutton pointed out to teams from the 19 countries competing in the 14th Women's World Championships. "You may have seen that we are one of five new sports being evaluated for a place in the Olympic Games.
"I am sure rugby, karate, golf and roller sports all have women's world championships - but women's squash is the strongest of these and your performance here will help our chances of being in Paris, London, New York, Madrid or Moscow in 2012."
Simon Vollers, Chairman of the Netherlands Squash Bond, replied on behalf of the hosts, adding his congratulations to all the players who have been selected to represent their countries - "one of the highpoints, surely, in anyone's life" - in these World Championships.
"We are delighted to be hosting this event in our country this year," said the recently-appointed Chairman, a former international referee. "We believe that staging events like this play a major part in promoting squash in the Netherlands - and we will host the European Team Championships in 2005 and hope to stage the World Masters here in 2006."
The 2004 World Championships have attracted widespread media attention in the Netherlands, with world No3 Vanessa Atkinson profiled on a major networked sports TV programme earlier in the week.
The event is being staged at the spectacular Frans Otten Stadion, a new facility in Amsterdam opened in March 2004 which boasts 21 squash courts including a permanently-sited glass-walled court.
Hosts Netherlands, led by Vanessa Atkinson, are seeded to achieve their highest ever finish in the championships. The third seeds take on rivals Belgium in their opening Pool C tie today (Sunday). Defending champions and top seeds Australia face Ireland in the first tie in Pool A, while former champions England, the No2 seeds, meet USA in Pool B.