Sri Lanka Squash to receive Rs 52m | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Squash to receive Rs 52m

29 August, 2021
Fathoum Issadeen and Ravindu Laksiri with the championship trophies after emerging winners at the National tournament

Squash is an individual sport that is played inside an enclosed court and hitting the small soft rubber ball against a high wall at one end. A person watching it will not find it very exciting or thrilling but only the player knows very well how much work and strategic planning has to be put in to emerge victorious.

Considering these areas that are needed for improvement the Minister of Sports has pledged to support the federation with a grant of Rs. 52 million to see the budding players horn their skills associated with the high performance program.

It is true that the leading squash players in the world are from the Asian region and the Sri Lankan players are far behind them in skills and rankings. This is the reason why the Sri Lankan men and women players have no chance of winning a medal at top international events. However, Sri Lanka Squash Federation (SLSF) is now planning to encourage a mixed doubles team to groom further where they have a chance to progress at winning a medal.

The two players who have given in writing that they are willing to form the mixed doubles pair, are the leading men’s player Ravindu Laksiri and women’s leading player in Fathoum Issadeen. However, they will have to go through rigorous training program like strength and court craft technique.

To their advantage the Army has built new doubles squash courts at Mattegoda where they can practice for further improvement. But their only request is that they be given top men’s players to play against that will give them a chance to explore their weaknesses.

“The new set of officials of the Squash Federation are very knowledgeable people who can carry out their duties admirably.

“They should be able to carry out their duties and find ways on how to develop the players to improve further. They are aiming to explore ways to win a medal at top level events such as the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games that are to be held next year,” said a source who wished to remain anonymous.

“Strength training goes without saying but the important aspect is training in court craft where the player faces actual difficult situations against a player.

“The Sri Lankan players are good but they do not go further as they lack support to participate in foreign tournaments where they can enhance their rankings. Take the leading women’s player from Malaysia Nicol David for example. She had a sponsor that supported her to horn her skills and take part in foreign tournaments. This way she faced many leading players and became the number one player in the world.”

Now the Federation has picked two squads with the men’s squad to go into training under Suwaris and the women’s squad to be trained by Gunawardena. This should offer Sri Lanka a chance to win medals at regional events such as the South Asian Federation Games at least.

With these funds to be received from the Sports Ministry the federation should look at ways on improving the players’ standard and win medals at foreign meets.