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I call for squash in Olympics
I’ve never been one for athletics – even as a proud former egg-and-spoon race winner at primary school, the allure of watching the Olympics isn’t all that strong for me. But the Games are all over the newspapers so it’s impossible not to read about it.
I have to say though, what tends to interest me most about the competition is the side plots – such as the fall-out from Britain’s not-so-synchronised divers and the scandal of the ditched ‘ugly’ kid singer for the dirty mimer.
But when I did suddenly realise that there was a sport other than football that is worthy of my attention, I checked the coverage and find, alas, the one I had in mind – squash – isn’t included.
Why not? It’s been around for yonks and it’s a highly-skilled game, something I’ve been finding out for myself.
While my panache with the racquet is hardly Amr Shabana standard (he’s the men’s world No 1, don’t you know) it’s a very rewarding game that pushes you to your physical limits. Played fast, you’ve got to move and react likewise to outwit your opponent.
As a bit of a couch potato, I find playing it intense and thoroughly tiring but, with a run of weekly games, good fun. It’s badminton for nuts. So why isn’t it on the telly, live from Beijing, like everything else?
A little research of the web and apparently it is “in contention for incorporation in a future Olympic program”, whatever that means. Hopefully it’ll be included in the London Games in 2012, but it probably won’t. Players and associations have been lobbying for many years to get it featured.
The exposure of current Olympic events may convince some people to lace up their trainers and have a go at something new – but I’d suggest squash. It’s cheap, burns a lot of energy and is available at most sports centres.