We didn't get in. Despite a polished presentation the International Olympic Committee has decided to go back to wrestling and not include a new sport in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Squash seemed to tick all the boxes but political and emotional pressure have given wrestling a reprieve.

So what now? Squash needs to move on.

As part of the bid process, we made exciting changes to the way the sport is played and presented. It has made it more attractive to a TV audience and is now a much more marketable product at the elite level.


Persistent criticism that the sport is boring and unwatchable is now simply not true. This tends to come from those who haven't seen a televised match for 10 years. It is now much more exciting, and the matches are shorter. Technology has been embraced with the use of video reviews, and laser light shows on the amazing all-glass courts. Squash didn't miss out on the Olympics, Olympics missed out on squash.

At the other end of the spectrum, Squash NZ is nearing the completion of a wonderful new product aimed at primary and intermediate kids.

They have produced an excellent programme that offers children a chance to taste the sport in a fun, challenging environment without the need to have a squash court.

The skills and movement-based programme is cleverly set out with professional resources that make the coach or teacher's job a breeze. The pilot programme has recently been completed at Pongakawa School to good reviews from the teachers and students.

The school has recently completed construction of a squash court and coupled with this programme, there is a real future for the sport in their school.

In the Bay three or four schools will be targeted in 2014, and links will be established with clubs so the pathway is clear. The programme will hopefully create a legacy in the school, with access to purchasing their own equipment and resources as required.

The simple programme is easy to learn, and will have the support of the club, the regional body, and Squash NZ. The resources and equipment are well priced, and the programme is designed in such a way that a teacher will find it easy and fun to deliver.

Marcus Niles is the Regional Manager at Squash Waikato & BOP.