Shri N Ramachandran – Felicitated by The President of India


Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India

The President's House - Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi

Establishment and Management of Sports Academies of Excellence

Mr. N.  Ramachandran added another feather to his already illustrious cap as today he was conferred with  Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar for 2011 by The President of India – Smt. Prathibha Devisingh Patil. At the packed ceremonial hall in Rashtrapati Bhawan today. 

For the dedicated, and hardworking Mr. Ramachandran this meant more than close to decade and a half of dedication to the sport of Squash Rackets. A sport which was played by Indian Military Officers, and handful others. Considered an elitist sport by most. In a country which is ravaged by Cricket it was always going to be difficult for RAMY as he is popularly known among friends. 

 With his path laden with this reality Mr. Ramachandran took unto himself to move forward with  purpose. His vision has seen the emergance of the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai and a  development program that has contributed to the game today finding a rightful place in the Indian  Sports Arena.

 Squash has been played in India since the pre-war days. To a large extent it was introduced by the  British forces that built squash courts in military cantonments and private clubs as an outlet for  their sporting interests. In the early days squash had the following of a smattering few who were  either from the forces, members of private clubs or children returning from studies abroad. It  certainly fitted the name it was given at that time – a bourgeois sport.

An organised activity for the promotion of the game was non-existent. Over time, however, things changed. The Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) was formed to oversee the promotion and development of the sport in IndiaNeedless to mention results did not rush in with a gush as a lack of systematic structure was posing unending problems. Non-existence of public facilities, lack of qualified manpower and public awareness of the game was pathetic. This is about the time Mr Ramachandran took reigns of the Association and after taking hold of the situation very methodically started working on the sport.

About 5 years ago the SRFI forged ahead with some dynamic plans. Squash promotion, development and performance at all levels in India have escalated more in the last 10 years than in the last 50.  The presence of ISA has seen Tamil Nadu emerge as the most  ‘squash active’ state in India mainly due to the work put in by the TNSRA and its governing board and the world class squash facilities. 

The Indian Squash Academy boasts of two complexes; one with 3 glass back rainbow courts and the other a state of the art centre with 4 glass back rainbow courts that are convertible to 2 doubles courts together with a Center ASB 4 sided all glass court  which enables  television coverage from all angles.

The collective effort put in at the Academy under the supervision of World Class Coaches and trainers has seen the emergence of players like Ritwik Bhattacharya the first Indian Male or Female Squash Player to break into World Top 40.  Following in his foot steps was another Indian Saurav Ghosal who went a few ranks above his contemporary to get into World Top 30 for Men’s. Saurav who has age on his side is likely to break into Top 10 very soon.

If Men were performing well so were the women first it was a local girl from Chennai Joshna Chinappa who broke into Top 50 for Women. She is presently ranked 31st in the World. Following her was another local girl from Chennai – Dipika Pallikal who did one better than Joshna and is presently ranked 24 in the World.  There are others in  Harinder Pal Singh, Siddhart Suchde and many other emerging juniors knocking hard for a place in Top World Rankings like their seniors and contemporaries – Indian Squash suddenly is the most happening thing in the world.

The Academy is ably staffed by a National Consultant Coach – Major Maniam from Malaysia. Major Maniam has been the coach of Nicole David the reigning World Women Squash Champion. Besides he is a household name in Malaysia for his admirable contribution to Malaysian Squash that has produced world ranking players in Nicole David, On Beng Hee and Alzan Iskander.

Major Maniam is ably assisted by our very own Cyrus Poncha someone who the world has come to know for his admirable exploits as coach through his illustrious pupils. Cyrus incidentally is a recipient of the Dronacharya Award 2005 presented by the then president Shri APJ Abdul Kalam.

Mr Ramachandran has already headed the Asian Squash Federation and a few years ago took the reigns of the World Squash Federation as its President. To know more about this please click here on our earlier post covering that event……… Ramachandran to Head World Squash Federation.

S4H Unlimited blogs Congratulates the WSF President – Mr. Ramachandran and wishes him greater success in his next ambition of – Taking Squash into Olympics – a continued struggle of many squash players, fans and supporters whose weight his shoulders carry.

To read more about Ramy’s Vision on how he sees the game in the near future please click on the following link….. SQUASH 2 SCALE NEW HEIGHTS  

Happy Squashing ! 

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District Administration Felicitates Young Achievers from Noida


http://epaper.mailtoday.in/displayimmage.htm

The District Gautam Buddh Nagar Squash Rackets Association with the support of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority and its friends in both Electronic & Print Media are felicitating the outstanding achievements of players from the district in the recent U.P. State Games for Squash.

Organized on behalf of the U.P. Olympic Association (Lucknow) and under the aegis of Uttar Pradesh Squash Rackets Association (Kanpur) the event saw our players return with some outstanding results.

  1. Ms. Nanadani Agarwal – Won the Gold Medal in the Ladies event.
  2. Master Divyanshu Sharma – Won Silver Medal in the Junior Boys.
  3. Master Rajneesh Srivastava – Won Bronze Medal in the Men’s event.

Noida came second only to Allahabad which has a long history of producing squash players. The U.P. Olympic Games Medal Tally for Squash stood as – 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze.

  • Squash which is the toughest sport in the world and one that has great benefits not just to fitness but also to the overall personality of an individual especially children
  • Is extremely cheap to play with rackets costing less than Rs 800/-.
  • Lack of public infrastructure is the biggest drawback for the sport in the district with squash courts only available in residential complexes or clubs. If this could be overcome Noida – which on the eve of Formula One is sitting on the threshold of making an International Mark in sports can produce world class players.

Under the stewardship of the Chairman (DGBNSRA) – Mr. Anil Agarwal, the District Body continually keeps working hard at giving opportunities to our players to compete with the best and perform better. So much so, that the association has organized 3 tournaments in just the last 6-8 months. We would also like to thank our Patrons Jaypee Greens & Lotto Sports Italia (India) and all our friends in the Press for taking the extra step in ensuring news reaches out to the masses. We would like to thank you all for this voluntary service to not just the residents of the district but also to the nation at large.

Vikas Sharma Secretary DGBNSRA NOIDA SQUASH

 

DGBNSRA would like to thank Mr Gurbir Singh (President of the Netball Federation of  Inda), Mr Rajendra Singh General Manager Properties, Mr Yogendra Sinha Manager Marketing, Mr Vivek Goel, for taking time out from their busy schedules to honor local talent. Mr Ashish Narang Manager Marketing – Mail Today for facilitating the event and making sure the atheletes find a rightful mention in the media.

Secretary DGBNSRA

Kolkata PSA Records longest match….


The Qualifying matches started at the the 5 Star Indian Challenger # 7 – Kolkata PSA – 2010. Two Malaysians however recorded the longest squash match in history. Ivan Yuen and Mudh Asyraf Azam played a five setter that was contested over 163 minutes. Asyraf winning 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11 & 12-10.

The Indian Challenge in the qualifiers that featured Ritwick Bhattacharya, Harinder Pal Sandhu, Gaurav Nandrajog, Ravi Dixit, Sandeep Jhangra, Ramit Tandon, Naresh Kumar, Abhishek Pradhan and Karan Danodia ended in the first day itself with only Harinder Pal Sandhu making it to the second round of the qualifiers….beating Naresh Kumar. Harry however lost to another Malaysian Mohd. Nafizwan Adnan who beat former National Champion Ritwick Bhattachrya in the first round qualifier.

The Wispa event features a local girl from Delhi who recently won her first  National U -13 title. Harshit Kaur Jwanda  gets to play Aprajita Balamurkan a girl much senior to her in age. It is extremely nice to see SRFI infuse young blood to such eliete tournaments with youngsters like Harshit and another girl from Mumbai Ankita Sharma getting their first break.

Below players enjoying a meal together (picture courtesy Squash Site UK)….

Seen in the photo are Shorbagy, Catalina Pelaez, Momen, Joshna and Aprajita 

National Champions from India Joshna Chennapa and donning a new hair-style Saurav Ghosal

S4HU – Walks the Talk with World No. 19 – Ong Beng Hee


Sports4HealthUnlimited (s4HU) in another first gets to bring to its viewers opinion of some World Champion Squash Players. Continuing in its efforts to bring Squash Heros closer to their Squash Fans features on Ong Beng Hee Malaysian No. 1 Men’s Squash Player currently ranked No. 19 in the world.

Beng Hee was in India for the PSA Chennai Open 2010 where he was Seeded No. 1. S4HU caught up with Beng Hee in a candid mood the day after he beat Jonathan Kemp in the Finals to win with a rather comfortable margin 3-0.

Ong Beng Hee a product of a Movement of the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysian together with fellow Male PSA player Azlan Iskander and WISPA player the World No. 1 Nicole David.  Is one of the greatest athelete in the game who is cool, composed and makes extra effort to keep it that way.

Beng Hee spent a cool 5 minutes talking to Vikas Sharma and the following were the major points of discussions:

  • Greatness of  the Sport
  • Tips to Aspiring Youngsters
  • CAUTION  to Parents of  Squash Kids
  • Emphasis on Basic Technique
  • Brief on his future plans…

Final Day Coverage from Chennai Open – 2010


The Finals for the PSA Men’s as well as the WISPA Women were played on the same day at the Indian Squash Acadmey in Chennai. Even though there were no surprises the spectators gathered with expectations of seeing some high quality back to back mens and women squash.

India’s journey in the PSA had already ended with the National Champion Saurav Ghosal loosing out to Jonathan Kemp in the semi finals the previous day.

Saurav who was seen playing perhaps one of the best squash of his career  almost upset a higher ranked Kemp sat on the sidelines with yourstruly candidly acknowledging that he had given his best shot the previous evening and was a bit unlucky.

In the Mens Final of this years Chennai Open were Malaysian Ong Beng Hee (Seeded No. 1) and he was playing the man who prevailed over the local challanger Jonathan Kemp (Seeded No 2).  Beng Hee the World No. 19 was comming out of a semi final match that lasted almost 2 hours and could have been stretched but the Malaysian had other plans and went out playing some controlled positive squash beating Kemp in straight games 3-0

Game One

Game Two

Game Three

Beng Hee Posing for S4HU

 

The WISPA Final was featuring players from the same countries like the PSA Finals. Representing Malaysia was World No 1 and Top Seed Nicole David while from England there was World No. 2  Jenny Duncalf. Jenny was going into the match with victories over Nicole in their previous two meetings however the World Champion had absolutely different ideas in her mind. She unsettled Jenny and upset any ambition she may have had of a third win.

Game One

Game Two

Game Three

Nicole David Posing for S4HU & With the Author

For more photos from Chennai Open 2010 please click on the following link…

Chennai Open – 2010 Updates Continue….


  • The deciding game between Saurav & Chris Simpsone….

Ladies Semi Final Matches 

  • Jenny Duncalf vs. Camille Serme
  • Game 1 

  • Game 2

  • Game 3 

  • Nicole David vs. Casey Brown
  • Game 1 

  • Game 2 

  • Game 3 

Exclusive Coverage Chennai Open – 2010 continues….


Watch Saurav play Chris Simpson in Game 2 & Game 3 exclusive on S4HU Blogs….we will continue to bring you more select action as it happened @ Chennai Open 2010

To read and watch the outcome of the Game – 1 please click on the following link … Chennai Open Exclusive Coverage

Game – 4 (the decider ) will be up tomorrow and so will some other action.

Cheers & Happy Squashing !!