India has a good track record in squash at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games
In a bid to popularise the sport of Squash, the Government of India has sanctioned the construction of six new courts at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi.
The venue, which had hosted the inaugural Asian Games in 1951, is known for its hockey facility and now squash will be part of the complex.
The foundation stone for the six new courts was laid by the Union External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, who himself is an avid squash player. Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, was also present at the ceremony on Wednesday.
The six new courts will be constructed at a cost of about ₹5.52 crore and the project is expected to be completed in six months. Three of the six courts will have moving walls and can be used as a doubles court as well.
Dr. Jaishankar went on to state that this is just a step in their bid to popularise the sport of squash.
“We have to democratise sport, it must not be a privilege. Most of the sports in which we have done well is because it has been democratised. I hope, in the case of squash, it is one step in that direction,” he said at the function.
“To have space in the National Stadium itself has its own significance. This facility is not only going to be world class but also a Centre of Excellence where we will be producing world champions. I am sure budding players will take maximum benefit of this centre,” said the Sports Minister Rijiju.
Squash, though not an Olympic sport, has been one of India’s most successful events at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. India has won a gold, three silvers and nine bronze medals in squash at the Asian Games with the likes of Saurav Ghoshal, Deepika Pallikkal and Joshna Chinnappa winning laurels for the country.
India has won a gold and a silver at the Commonwealth Games in squash as well.