UAE unveil plan to produce a world champion in squash

A committee recently formed with the intention of putting the UAE on the world map for squash met for the first time in Dubai and said the infrastructure is in place.

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DUBAI // A committee recently formed with the intention of putting the UAE on the world map for squash met for the first time in Dubai yesterday. The UAE Squash Association believe the infrastructure, which includes approximately 1,500 courts across the country, is already in place and will assist their aim of producing a world champion squash player. "One day we believe we can have a boy or girl from the UAE who is the champion of the world," said Bader al Mansoori, the association's secretary general.
"That is our ultimate aim. This is a very elegant game that people of any age or ability can come and enjoy the game." More than 3,500 players are involved in league competitions across the country. The new organisation plan to formalise the standards of competition and coaching across all seven emirates. "The game has been played here for many years, but without an official association to control and promote it," added Abdul Aziz al Bannai, the chairman of the UAE Squash Association.
"It is our responsibility to bring together all the clubs across the country under one body and provide coaching to all squash-lovers, including Emiratis. "Our main aim is to promote the game, bring the young generation to squash, and arrange local and international tournaments involving world-class players." Discussions have also taken place over bringing the world's best players to Dubai for an exhibition tournament next year.
"Until now one or two people have done their best to organise the sport here, now it is the official responsibility of seven of us to give our time to the game," said Abbas Khan, the long-serving coach who was appointed as technical director of the new body. "There are a huge amount of courts available for a country the size of UAE. I come from Pakistan, where there are perhaps only 200 squash courts in the country."
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