The Professional Squash Association (PSA) and World Squash Federation (WSF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the two bodies work in unison towards achieving a joint vision for the future of the sport on a global scale.
The announcement of the MoU today (Monday) comes after the two bodies in January said they had agreed in principle on a partnership that would seek to drive the sport’s ongoing development in the global marketplace.
The news followed the first meeting featuring newly-elected WSF president Jacques Fontaine and PSA chief executive Alex Gough, along with other senior officials from the two bodies. In November, Fontaine pledged to step up the sport’s long-running battle for admission onto the programme for the summer Olympic Games, following his election.
Fontaine succeeded N. Ramachandran, following the completion of the Indian’s second and final four-year term. Ramachandran’s position as president had come under scrutiny following the sport’s latest failure in efforts to secure a place on the Olympic Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The PSA, which organises the men’s and women’s professional squash tours, and the WSF said the new partnership will focus on the development of a global strategy, homing in on objectives such as, securing a place on the Olympic Games programme; maintaining squash’s presence on other international multi-sport games programmes; growing participation levels around the world; and encouraging the development of court facilities in conjunction with centres, local associations and national federations.
Commenting on the partnership, Fontaine said: “This was a key objective for me since my election as WSF president last November. It is vital for the future of the sport that the governing body of the professional game and the international federation representing the nations and their players, coaches and referees, work in unison towards joint objectives that will ultimately help ensure squash continues to expand its global profile.
“The ability to plan for our future together, developing clear roles and responsibilities for the PSA, WSF and other key stakeholders within the sport, is an exciting moment for squash and we look forward to a very bright future working together.”
Gough added: “Our ambition, aligned with that of the WSF, is to create a more stable and successful platform from which to market squash around the world. Creating a unified refereeing structure, expanding squash's commercial profile and improving working relationships with all stakeholders are key to the future success of squash and we are pleased to begin a new working relationship with the WSF.
“The professional tour has made enormous strides in recent years and we hope to continue that growth, while at the same time helping grow the sport at a grass roots level. We have been hugely encouraged in all our conversations with the WSF and are excited to begin a new era of greater cohesion.”