Korea leads World Squash Day celebrations in Asia
By Alex Wan – Squash Mad Asian Bureau Editor
World Squash Day celebrations took off in Asia with Korea leading with an impressive mega festival held in Incheon, the South Korean city that borders its capital Seoul, where the 2014 Asian Games was held.
The Korean event was held over 3 days from 21-23 October 2016 and had a combination of mini-competitions for primary, middle and high school categories, one for university students and a senior event for their elites. Led by their enthusiastic head coach Ryun Hoe Koo, the event was a success and was even graced by Malaysia’s former world number 7 Ong Beng Hee, who was a guest at the celebrations.
“This is the first time we have had a World Squash Day event of this scale and I am very happy with the way it turned out,” said a happy Ryun Hoe Koo, a finalist at the recent Asian Squash Masters in China.
Apart from the competition, there were also exhibition matches held in the city by its top players Ko young jo, You Jae Jin, Lee Seung Jun, Yang Yeon Soo and Eum Wha Young to name a few.
Squash was taken to the streets for the public to try out and a full glass court was erected outdoors for some of the competition matches.
In Singapore, most events took place in private clubs who mostly held friendlies and open days to the public. At the Serangoon Gardens Country Club, newly elected squash convenor Edwin Lee led his team of organising committee in promotional activities to lure new participants to the game.
Social squash group Angry Birds and corporate giants KPMG, who was preparing for the inter-accounting games, took to court in a World Squash Day friendly. Despite having the services of Singapore’s SEA Games gold medallist Marcus Phua, the corporate giants fell to the Angry Birds, who had their best squash league season this year when they won the D grade crown.
Additionally, the Angry Birds team also made World Squash Day t-shirts to raise funds for the #sunshine4sumner campaign that was highly successful.
Over in Shanghai, one of the few major cities in China where squash is played, the SECA Sports Academy held a tournament for their members and trainees and an open day to the public in a bid to popularise the sport and also attract new members to their facility and coaching programmes.
Pictures by Ryun Hoe Koo, Maggie Ma, Singapore Squash