Singapore is strengthening its efforts in developing squash as the sport readies for its debut at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Au Yeong Wai Yhann, the first Singaporean woman to clinch a victory at the Professional Squash Association Challenger Tour, plans to turn professional by June next year. Currently ranked 84th globally, Yeong Wai Yhann perceives the upcoming Olympics as a pivotal motivator, hoping her involvement will draw greater attention to squash in Singapore.
Singapore's Squash Development Initiatives
The Singapore Squash Racquets Association (SSRA) aims to attract more young athletes into its junior development programs and is set to hold open trials. The trials will cater to players aged 19 and above who demonstrate the potential to become serious athletes. However, squash in Singapore confronts hurdles including under-recognition and a shortage of public squash courts.
Collaborations and Challenges
The SSRA is collaborating with private clubs, condominiums, and schools to make squash more accessible, addressing the lack of public courts. Yet, the Kallang Squash Centre, a key training venue with seven courts, faces an uncertain future. Initially slated for demolition, this decision is now indefinitely delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Squash in the Olympics: A Major Motivator
With squash included in the 2028 Olympics, the focus on development is intensifying. The Olympics serve as a significant motivator for players like Yeong Wai Yhann, driving enthusiasm and attention towards the sport. As Singapore ramps up its preparations, the nation's squash scene hopes to leverage this global platform to elevate its status and popularity.