Squash at the Olympics?
Squash has always been a sport close to my heart; my dad taught me to play aged 14 and since then I have always found friends or a club to play with. It's a bit of a strange sport, always hitting a ball against a wall, but it's an extremely good workout and lots of fun. Anyone can learn to play squash. It's similar to tennis but with a slightly different technique.
Moving to Germany was a very scary experience, because I wasn't sure if I was going to make friends easily. As soon as I found a squash club in Düsseldorf, everything seemed a bit easier. Suddenly there was a group of people who shared my interest and wanted to play squash with me! I started by playing in a tournament, which was great fun and meant I got to meet lots of new people. After a lot of tough games, I ended up coming second in my group!
Whilst squash will always be a hobby for me, for some people it is a lot more. Professional squash players come from all over the world, with some of the best in the UK and Europe as well as Egypt. Squash is becoming more and more popular around the world, but many squash players are still disappointed. Why? Because squash has been turned down yet again for a place in the Olympics. Instead, climbing, golf and rugby sevens have all been given priority at Rio 2016.
The squash community sees this decision as unfair, since they've been trying for years to get a place at the Olympic Games, but have always narrowly missed out. Their argument is that squash has a greater worldwide following than sports such as rugby sevens, and golf already has so many famous events that it doesn't need the Olympics to become so well known. The Olympics would also help to get more people enthusiastic about squash, because it's a fast-paced game and very exciting! On the other hand, the Olympic committee thinks that these other sports will attract more attention to the next Olympic Games than squash would.
It is a shame that squash has missed out once again, but it won't stop people like me from picking up a racquet and joining a club. I'll always love it, whether it becomes an Olympic sport or not!