The outstanding success of the all-glass court at the recent Pak'nSave PSA tournament has given organisers of next year's World Junior Squash Championship a timely boost.
The event, set down over two weeks from July 19-28, will be the first world sporting tournament on such a massive scale to be held in Tauranga.
The sport of squash would gain unprecedented coverage with live streaming of games worldwide plus the local economy and tourism in the wider Western Bay area should benefit greatly.
One of the long-term positive impacts from the event was a legacy programme which would involve each of the 24 countries to be adopted by a school. Organising committee chairman Wayne Werder said the use of the glass court at the PSA Tournament was the first time it had been used in New Zealand since 2010.
He said the glass court was fundamental to hosting the world championships.
"Squash is a sport played inside a club that not many people get to see, so the ability to take it out to a wider audience is absolutely crucial," Werder said. "For us to do the right job with the world champs is not just about squash people coming to watch, it is about engaging the wider community to watch the sport and see it in its best light.
"Internationally the best light is watching a glass court, so you can see from different views and the live streaming and production ability is so much better."
The expensive court would be used during the AIMS Games in Tauranga in September and next April, most probably at Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre at Memorial Park. Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre would be the tournament hub with support from Mount Maunganui and Te Puke Squash Clubs.
Werder had no doubts Tauranga had the ability to host large scale events.
"This will hopefully be the catalyst to hosting more big events at that world level. We are very good at hosting local and regional events and AIMS Games is an exceptional event in its own right. For the confidence of other world bodies to see Tauranga as a genuine option I think it is quite critical we get this one right.
"It is a massive opportunity for us to be seen as a world event destination.
"In the landscape of squash in Tauranga the time is right. Squash is going great guns here. The Tauranga club has closed their membership and I can't think of many clubs in this day and age that have closed their membership because they are full."
Next year's World Junior Squash Championship would run in two sections.
The under-19 men's and women's individual championships would take place from July 19-23 with the women's team championships to follow from July 24-28.