Features > Global
Gallery
 > June ’05 Global Gallery

Search Squashtalk


  SQUASHTALK
  OPINION




COLLEGE NEWS

Schedules/Results
Team previews



DEPARTMENTS
 

Latest
news
Tournament
Calendar
Bronstein
Global Gallery

Videos
History
Pakistan Squash
Camp Index

Features Index
Player Profiles
Worldwide Clubs
Worldwide Links

Rankings
Opinion/Perspective


MORE GOOD STUFF:
 


About Squash
   
Just
starting

Books
Letters to editor

Job Exchange
Improve Yourself
Find a player
Guestbook
Advertise on SquashTalk
Editorial Staff
About Squashtalk


 

Sorry
about the 2012 Olympics

…Dan Kneipp … Power’s shoes … Fitz’s Fifth…
more …

Global Gallery, May
30, 2005

Martin Bronstein, writes this month from his
home in London.

© 2005 All rights
reserved.
all photos© 2005, Debra Tessier

ANYONE
FOR SQUENNIS ?
Anyone
who has met Joe Kneipp’s little brother Dan will know that if he
gets involved in anything the result will be something highly original.
It was little brother who, a couple of years ago left Australia to join
Joe in Amsterdam and bring some discipline to his big brother’s
training. Joe climbed up to the top ten. Dan went back to Oz, got his
degree and got married. Then he got back on the plane again with his bride
back to Amsterdam.

Joe K on the tennis court photo©
2005, Dan Kneipp

Those
clever folk at the Amstelpark Club gave Dan a job running their racket
sports and what did Dan come up? Squennis. Yes, Squennis. You don’t
have to be too bright to realize that this new competition is a mixture
of squash and tennis where competitors get to play three games of squash
and three game of tennis. Squash games last for 20 minutes and tennis
games 40 minutes.

With
out-of-the-box thinking like this we can expect Dan to get rapidly promoted
to the point where he replace Jacques Rogge, as president of the IOC.
Why? Simple. There are hundreds of sports (including ballroom dancing
and chess!) that want to get into the Olympics. Dan’s method of
combining sports would keep everyone happy. For example: CANOODLING:
canoeing combined with wrestling. JAVELUS: Javelin/discus.
GYMMING: gymnastics/swimming. RUCKY:
rugby/hockey. JIVING: judo and diving. BOXLING:
boxing and cycling. FENOLO: fencing and water
polo. With luck we could get the Olympics down to just ten sports and
save us all a lot of time.

SORRY
ABOUT SQUASH AND THE OLYMPICS

Everybody
in squash is talking up the possibility of inclusion in the 2012 Olympics.
I hate to be a damp rag, but according to all insider reports, forget
it. An AP sports writer wrote a piece that give squash as much chance
as an ice cube in a volcano.

Let
me quote a couple of paragraphs by the writer, Stephen Wilson.

“The
IOC program commission assessed all the sports contested in Athens last
summer, as well as five hopefuls: golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller
sports”

“The
report has not been made public, and commission members are under orders
to keep it under wraps. However, two members of the panel, speaking
to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said Saturday they
don’t expect the report will lead to any sports being dropped
or added.”

“While
some sports come off worse than others, there is no overwhelming evidence
for any sport to be eliminated or added, the panel members said.”

“The
last sport eliminated from the Summer Olympics was polo – in 1936.”

Now
here’s the paragraph that I find so very, very depressing.

In
2002 Rogge proposed that baseball, softball and modern pentathlon be dropped,
and golf and rugby added. But the IOC members resisted and no vote was
taken.”

Not
that I wave the flag for any of the sports mentioned in that paragraph
but those few words demonstrate just how little power Rogge has and how
much the ingrained prejudices of the IOC committee result in a retention
of the status quo.

Rogge
is quoted as saying that he doesn’t expect any immediate changes:
“I think this is something that I might not see in the short term
but definitely something my successors will see.” In that case Jacques,
mon ami, resign now. I looked to you to bring about the much needed overhaul
of the Olympics, to get rid of those alleged sports (Synch swimming and
diving, beach volley ball, figure skating –and all events that are
based on artistics judgment rather than time, distance or scoring) and
bring in real sports. Sadly, you have become another victim of a committee.

The
American humorist Fred Allen defined a committee as:

“A
group of men who individually can do nothing
but
as a group decide that nothing can be done.”

Or
as an anonymous wit once said:

“A
committee is a group of the unwilling, chosen from the unfit to do the
unnecessary.”

Doesn’t
that resonate?

GREAT
IDEA, GREAT DINNER, BEAUTIFULLY DONE

The first world squash awards organized by Peter Nicol, Tim Garner and
Angus Kirkland went off very well indeed. I spoke briefly to Peter a couple
of weeks later and he tells me that they lost money on the dinner but
they never intended it to be a money making event. Next year they hope
to sell enough tables to companies and orgs so that the event pays for
itself. Nice to come across a group with an altruistic side. They can
count on my support for next year.

A
SQUASHTALK AWARD?

The
awards were for the best female and male players of the year, best young
female and male players and the lifetime achievement award (Jahangir quite
rightly got the first one to a deafening standing ovation.) If you can
think up a suitable award for Squashtalk to add to the world awards, send
you suggestions to me. Best suggestion gets a DVD of a major tournament.
For example, how about Best Tournament of the Year, to recognize promoters?

FITZ
– A WINNER EVEN IN A BORROWED BRA
I
was lucky enough to have Sarah Ftiz-Gerald sitting next to me at the dinner.
I took the chance to quiz her again on her retirement. She re-iterated
that she had just had enough. Even though she was still number one and
virtually unbeaten, she just didn’t want to do it anymore. But she
had me laughing as she told of her desire to win a fifth world title.
So she flew to the venue and landed safely – without her baggage.
She had nothing but the clothes she flew in. For her first match she had
to borrow a bra from Tania Bailey and a skirt from somebody else. For
training purposes she borrowed shorts from Thierry Lincou (Jeez, Lincou
doesn’t look like a size 8) and a shirt from another guy. Her baggage
arrived in time for the final and Sarah duly won her fifth world title
– as we all knew she would.

STRANGE
FOLK, THOSE LIMEYS

A
month or two back SquashTalk had a world exclusive (two in fact) when
we broke the story of London’s famed Lambs Club closing its doors.
(The other story was the return of the British Open to London).

Mike
Corby, owner of the club told me that the fitness biz had taken a nose
dive and he needed to sell the club in order to keep his other 12 clubs
going.

A
bunch of Lambs members decided that closing would be a bad thing, put
together a protest group, and with the aid of our story, got on local
radio and had stories in the local press. Mr. Corby was not amused and
threw a couple of protesting members out of the club – cancelled their
membership. (He told the press that one of them had a free membership
anyway). Mike is a very willful chap and brooks no argument. When he heard
the news that the local council had rejected the developer’s plans
to build 122 apartments on the Lambs’ site, he was not amused and
said if planning permission is denied, he would turn the courts into gyms
anyway. So blow that out of your muffler buddy.

Now
here’s a peculiar thing: Mike Corby is President of English Squash,
the governing body that promotes and runs the sport in England. And here
he is threatening to close squash courts. But he’s not the first!
Ten years ago England Squash had a chairman, name of John Treharne, who
also owned and ran fitness clubs. He too would buy up squash clubs, close
most of the squash courts to build gyms or swimming pools. His story was
that he was making the club profitable, otherwise they would close down
completely. So if you don’t like squash and would like to close
a few courts, England Squash will find a job for you.

POWER
GIVES SQUASH SHOES THE BIRD
When
Jonathon Power’s right shoes came to pieces in his match against
Amr Shabana at the Super Series final, he had to borrow a pair from one
of the court attendants. Next day he was wearing a brand new pair of shoes.

“I
actually went into a store and bought a pair. I haven’t done that
since I was ten years old,” he told me. Then the bombshell: he had
purchased a pair of badminton shoes.

“They’re
softer than squash shoes, so I didn’t have to wear them in,”
he explained. Will this man ever get a contract from Hi-Tec again? And
by the way , what happened to the Jonathon Power squash shoe? Answers
welcome.