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World Squash Library Set To Record Covid Impact

12 August 2020

COVID-19's impact on world sport in general, and on squash specifically, will be remembered for generations to come.

In a bid to record the wide range of effects produced by the pandemic on the sport, the World Squash Library is asking for contributions from around the world from which to create a unique record of the unprecedented period - from players, both recreational and professional, facility operators, federations; anybody involved with squash.

"The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all - whether through illness, tragic deaths in the community, financially, or simply how we live our lives in general," said WSL founder Andrew Shelley.

"Squash has not been exempt. The impact has taken a number of forms, and has been very wide indeed - and needs to be documented."

To capture these fresh impressions as an archive, World Squash Library is developing a snapshot of the impact it had; the repercussions thereafter; and views on what the future holds. This will be published on the website, and available so that in future people can look back at this time for the sport using information supplied by the squash community.

Contributors are invited to go to www.squashlibrary.info/covid-19-squash-snapshot - and write about personal and/or business experiences of how Covid-19 has impacted squash, plus other insights including thoughts on how the sport might be altered in the future.

World Squash Library Unveils World Junior Compendia

22 July 2020

Following the success of its senior packages, the World Squash Library now launches synopses of the Men's and Women's World Junior Individual Championships, the originally biennial events which began in 1980 in Sweden for boys and a year later for girls in Canada.

The presentation features the dates, venue and results for each event over the five decades, including winner photos and programme cover scans.

There are also champions posters featuring the winners, in both digital and print form (partial versions of both pictured below). They are free to download by Federations, events, clubs and enthusiasts at www.squashlibrary.info/features

 

Australian Peter Nance, only seeded to reach the semi-finals, became the surprise winner of the first world junior (U19) title in the Swedish city of Kungälv. It was six years later in 1986 that Pakistan's Jansher Khan claimed the title - going on to become the first of three players to also secure the men's senior world trophy.

In August 2004, 16-year-old Ramy Ashour became the title's youngest ever winner - the Egyptian progressing to become the event's first double champion in 2006. By 2019, the men's title had been won by Egyptians 14 times.

 

An all-English final brought the maiden women's event to a climax in Ottawa in August 1981 when Lisa Opie beat fellow Guernsey girl Martine le Moignan to become the first champion. England and Australia shared the titles for the next 12 years - in 1987 Australian Sarah Fitz-Gerald becoming the first of six women to win junior before moving on to the senior world individual title.

It was in July 1999 that the formidable Nicol David made her mark on the world stage - the 15-year-old Malaysian winning the first of two world U19 titles before advancing to claim a record eight senior world titles!

An impressive run began in 2003 when Omneya Abdel Kawy became Egypt's first women's champion - the country going on to provide all but one of the winners to date, with Nour El Sherbini securing the title for a record third time in 2013 after becoming the all-time youngest-ever world champion at 13 in 2009.

The male & female events moved to annual staging in 2009 & 2010 respectively.

Now that the Individual Men's, Women's and Junior championships have been published, compendia for the Senior & Junior World Team events are being prepared.

The World Squash Library, established last October by former World Squash Federation CEO Andrew Shelley as a free service to provide information and answer queries, and preserve books, handbooks, magazines, programmes, documents and images for future generations. Donations to support the Library can be made on the Library website www.squashlibrary.info

Comprehensive digital and searchable records of all the World Junior Individual Championships are now also available to SquashInfo subscribers at www.squashinfo.com/history/78/mens/world-junior-championship and www.squashinfo.com/history/78/womens/world-junior-championship

World Squash Library Launches Women's World Championship Package

22nd May 2020

The World Squash Library today launches its second compendium of the sport's World Championships, this time covering all the Women's World Opens from the maiden event in Brisbane, Australia, in 1976.

The production features the dates, venue and results for each event over the five decades, including winner photos and programme cover scans.

There are also champions posters featuring all the winners in both digital and print form (see below). They are free to download by Federations, events, clubs and enthusiasts at www.squashlibrary.info/womens-world-squash-championships

 

Australia's formidable Heather McKay swept through the field in 1976 to win the inaugural world title without dropping a game - indeed, only conceding 16 points in five matches!

Oceania players dominated from then until 2003 with Kiwi Susan Devoy winning four - and Sarah Fitz-Gerald, with five, leading a group of Australian winners, including Michelle Martin, who claimed three titles.

Next to dominate was Malaysian Nicol David with a record eight titles in ten years before the arrival of the Egyptians, including current holder Nour El Sherbini having four wins.

The World Squash Library, established last October by former World Squash Federation CEO Andrew Shelley as a free service to provide information and answer queries, and preserve books, handbooks, magazines, programmes, documents and images for future generations. Donations to support the Library can be made on the Library website www.squashlibrary.info

Comprehensive digital and searchable records of all the Women's World Championships are now also available to SquashInfo subscribers at www.squashinfo.com/history/983/womens/world-championship

World Squash Library Launches First World Championship Compendium

23rd April 2020

The World Squash Library is launching its first compendium of the sport's World Championships today, covering all the Men's World Opens from the inaugural event in 1976.
 

The 'one-stop' production features the dates, venue and results for each event over the five decades, including champion photos and programme cover scans.
 

There are also champions posters featuring all the winners, in both digital and print form. They are free to download by Federations, events, clubs and enthusiasts at www.squashlibrary.info/mens-world-squash-championships
 

The World Squash Library, established last October by former World Squash Federation CEO Andrew Shelley, donating his time and experience to archive and preserve the history of squash for future generations, as well as providing an information resource.

"The Men's Open compilation is the first of a series which will ultimately comprise the Women's Open and both World Junior Individual events, followed by the senior and junior world team championships too," said Shelley.

"Working with the incomparable www.squashinfo.com platform to complete the results, the Library archive materials have enabled the site to make available a comprehensive and uniquely searchable digital archive of all the results to date. Bringing these together with the other elements in one place are all part of the Library ethos."

Most recently the Library has published a feature detailing the evolution of courts, rules, filming, etc, that have taken forward event presentation along with spectator and broadcast enhancements. This follows others already on the Library website www.squashlibrary.info/features

The Library also has a YouTube Channel where Olympic bid videos, the first dating back to 1987, can be viewed.

For the future, the Library also intends to digitalise key information too, as and when financial support is found.

For more details on the World Squash Library, please visit www.squashlibrary.info

New Features Added

14th February 2020

In recent weeks the Library has added a number of interesting topics in the Features section of the World Squash Library.


They include:

•    A list of ‘principal’ worldwide squash clubs from 1938
•    A chart detailing the 21st century World Championship winners
•    The Racketball / Squash 57 story
•    British Open, when it was a ‘challenge’
•    The largest club in 1936 (with 15 courts)
•    The background to the abolishment of amateur status
•    The Rules of Squash 1930
•    A squash article from Boys Own Paper back in 1894
•    The scoresheet from the longest recorded match


They can all be seen at https://www.squashlibrary.info/features 

Next to come will be comprehensive World Championship results.

Other ideas and suggestions welcomed. 

Shelley Launches Unique Squash Library

24 October 2019

While Squash looks forward, with new generations enjoying this great sport and new champions crowned on the latest club and showcourts, the sport also has a long and rich heritage.

Being passionate about preserving this extensive history, Andrew Shelley is launching the World Squash Library (WSL) as an independent 'not-for-profit' initiative to ensure that books, magazines, championship programmes, results, images and other information can be brought together in one place to respond to enquiries from current players, media, Federations, students - simply anyone wanting information on the long or near past.

"I believe that our history must not only be easily accessible now, but safeguarded for future generations," said Shelley, who recently concluded his term as CEO of the World Squash Federation.

"There are approaching 4,000 items catalogued now, stretching back to 1890, and although there are gaps to be filled, a great many of the handbooks and magazines along with many World Championship and other major event programmes are in place so that questions can be answered and researches mounted," Shelley added.

Initial WSL information is at www.squashlibrary.info with future projects for the Library including digitalisation of key materials, regular social media sidelights, articles and posters that Federations can use, looking back at advertising, court development and other facets of our sport. Spotlights and features will be added to the site regularly.

For those with questions, keen to offer appropriate historical materials to WSL, or even keen to support the running costs, Andrew Shelley can be contacted at info@squashlibrary.info

"WSL can never be complete, but over the coming years we will be getting as close as possible!" Shelley concluded

CONTACT 

World Squash Library is based at The Walker Ground, home of Southgate Squash Club in North London.

ADDRESS

World Squash Library
The Walker Ground
Waterfall Road
Southgate

London

N14 7JZ

VISITORS

Strictly By Appointment

CONTACT US/INFORMATION REQUEST

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