Tuesday 20 May 2008

Opposition sets out stall for Olympic inclusion

If squash thought it had a good case for inclusion in the 2016 Games, one of its rivals sports has just raised the bar ...

An article in the Guardian reports that the International Rugby Board (IRB) has put an experienced and professional team in place to help get rugby sevens into the Games, some members of which were involved in the successful bif for London 2012:

"The London 2012 influence is coming into play at the International Rugby Board as it launches a campaign to promote rugby sevens as an Olympic sport. Rugby is among seven sports seeking inclusion in the Games, the others being softball and baseball - which were axed from the Olympic roster for London - golf, squash, karate and roller sports.

Leading the campaign for the IRB chairman, Bernard Lapasset, who is also vice-president of the French Olympic committee, is the London consultancy Vero, which was set up by the London 2012 strategist Mike Lee.

Adding to the 2012 flavour will be Wilder Films, which created two of the six videos in the final presentation that helped swing the vote in London's favour."

Squash narrowly missed out on being included in the London Games after IOC members decided not to include any more new sports. Though rugby sevens was on that shortlist too, it was karate that emerged as squash's closest rival for inclusion.

While squash seems to tick all the boxes for inclusion on its intrinsic values and benefits, it appears from the IRB's set-up that a slick marketing, PR and media campaign may also be required to impress the voting delegates.

The WSF's video to promote squash that was used in the previous bid for Olympic inclusion can be viewed here.

The decision for which sport/s to include in the 2016 Games will be made at the IOC assembly in October 2009 in Copenhagen.

Read the article

1 comment:

  1. The fact is that the argument about the worthiness of squash's (or other sports for that matter) inclusion in the Olympics will not be won on the sporting and logical merits of the sport but on the ability to lobby and influence voting members. As James Hetfield once said, "Sad, but true!"

    Both my squash playing friends and non-playing friends see no reason for it not to be included and many were shocked that it is not.


Feel free to comment anonymously or leave your name.

Care about the future of squash? Get it off your chest ...