By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
The 2016 WSF Ambassador Programme will focus on China this summer when Malaysians Low Wee Wern and Ong Beng Hee lead the latest World Squash Federation initiative into the Chinese city of Dalian, together with Macau, in June.
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.
Low Wee Wern and Ong Beng Hee both hail from Penang. Women’s world top five player Wee Wern is fighting back to full fitness after knee surgery, while former world No.7 Beng Hee is the highest-ranked Malaysian man of all-time, who won four Asian Championship titles and two Asian Games gold medals in an illustrious 20-year career as a professional.
Also joining the 2016 Programme, run in conjunction with the Chinese and Macau Squash Associations, will be Asian Federation Regional Referee Robert Arrffan, from Singapore, and Dick Leung, the Assistant Head Coach at Hong Kong Squash.
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 last year with appearances in Serbia, Romania and Croatia.