CHENNAI: AS reported by TNIE earlier, Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) will undergo a major revamp in the near future. On Wednesday, the federation unveiled their vision for 2022 called CHOPs (Coaches, Hosts, Officials, and Players) with short and long-term goals.
By December, they are planning to have at least 8,000 registered junior and senior players and a minimum of one WSF certified coach from some of the less-active states. To achieve the same, they have joined hands with HCL Technologies — the sport’s first-ever corporate partnership in the country.
With most seniors playing in tournaments abroad, national coach Cyrus Poncha said that it is not practical to have a full-time foreign coach due to the expense, especially after the tumultuous exit of former coach Ashraf el Karagui.
In February, SRFI had been in talks with Amir Wagih of Egypt for the recently concluded Asian Squash Championship, where Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa won. While Wagih talks has died down, coach Poncha and SRFI president Debendranath Sarangi are hoping to rope in David Palmer of Australia ahead of WSF Men’s World Team Championships in December. “We have intimated the government about our requirements. We will get a confirmation by the end of this month,” Sarangi said.
SRFI had also planned to host 12 PSA-level tournaments. However, hosting PSAs involves prize money, something that could prove to be a deterrent. The federation has not been able to organise the budget yet and believes that the partnership with HCL is a good start. “We are still in the hunt for more sponsors. If everything falls in place, we will host our first PSA of the year in August in Noida,” Poncha said.
Apart from player development, SRFI is also keen on increasing the standard of coaches and referees and are planning to hold clinics and camps. Hosting two high-performance camps, supervised by a foreign coach, is also part of their plans.