The sport of Squash has been confirmed as a showcase sport at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between 6-18 October 2018, following the fourth International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission visit to the Argentinian capital.
Following on from the IOC's "Sports Lab" concept which was launched at Nanjing 2014 and saw skateboarding and sport climbing feature - sports which have since been added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games programme - the inclusion of squash in Buenos Aires 2018 could have a huge impact on squash’s aspirations to join the Summer Olympic Games roster.
Buenos Aires 2018 will mark the first time ever that squash will appear on an Olympic programme.
"We are delighted that squash will feature as part of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in what is a hugely positive development for the growth of squash worldwide," said Professional Squash Association (PSA) CEO Alex Gough.
"The opportunity to expose the sport on a worldwide stage, while at the same time introducing squash to an entirely new generation of athlete, in very exciting for us and everyone involved in the game and we welcome the opportunity for our young athletes to compete at Buenos Aires 2018.
"With a focus on development the Youth Olympics is also very much a testing ground for the Olympic Movement and we welcome the opportunity to showcase our sport in this setting and display both the adaptability and uniqueness of the all-glass squash showcourt and the skills and athleticism of our players."
The Games Organising Committee has emphasised a desire to feature participation as a key component as part of their 'festivals of sport' created in four 'parks' across the city. Buenos Aires 2018 want people to "experience a fusion of elite sport competition, music, culture and arts festivals, sport initiation, showcasing and educational programmes".
The World Squash Federation, in conjunction with the Argentinean Squash Federation, were warmly received by the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee (BAYOGOC) during the extended period in which discussions took place leading to this superb outcome.
Welcoming the news, WSF President Jacques Fontaine commented: "Youth are our future, and so a priority for squash. We hugely admire the participation policy of the Buenos Aires 2018 Organizing Committee are grateful to the hosts in recognising that squash will be a vibrant addition, and are delighted to be a part of the promotion.
"We, in collaboration with the Argentinean Squash Federation, look forward to bringing an all-glass showcourt to Technopolis Park.
"To be added to the Youth Olympic Games for 2018 is a great moment for squash and a step in the right direction towards our ultimate aim of Olympic Games inclusion. The Youth Games displays the very best in rising sporting talent as well as the very best in youth sports. We believe we have one of the most unique sporting products in the world and some of the most compelling athletes in the world; and we look forward to working closely with the host in the build up to Buenos Aires 2018 to ensure we make the most of the opportunity."
The format of the junior 'showcase' event, will be announced later.