WSF ambassadors dive into Armenia and Ukraine
By HOWARD HARDING
Armenia and Ukraine will host the 2017 WSF Ambassador Programme later this year when Malaysia’s record eight-time women’s world champion Nicol David and Colombian Miguel Angel Rodriguez, South America’s highest-ranked player of all-time, lead the latest World Squash Federation initiative into the countries’ capitals Yerevan and Kiev, respectively.
Launched in 2011, the inspired WSF international promotional initiative takes two leading squash players, together with an international coach and referee, into younger squash nations to help raise the sport’s profile – through clinics, exhibition matches, refereeing and coaching seminars, and media presentations.
David, a WSF Ambassador on several occasions, and Programme-debutant Rodriguez (pictured above) will be joined Belgian national coach Ronny Vlassaks and international referee Marko Podgorsek, from Slovenia. The 2017 campaign will take place from 27 June to 2 July.
“The whole group is excited about meeting and interacting with the squash communities, sports authorities and media in Armenia and Ukraine,” said WSF CEO Andrew Shelley.
“As ever, the opportunity to help younger federations with their developmental and promotional work is one we relish.”
The WSF Ambassador Programme first visited the Baltic country of Latvia in 2011, followed by a trip to the African countries of Malawi and Namibia, then Panama and Venezuela in 2013, Papua New Guinea in 2014, before focussing on the Balkan region in 2015 with appearances in Serbia, Romania and Croatia. Last year, the team visited Dalian and Macau in China.
Pictures by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com) courtesy of WSF