The Philippine Squash Association is looking to sign up a foreign coach to enhance the country’s chances of producing world-caliber players as the sport is being considered to make its debut in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
PSA president Robert Bachmann told Daily Tribune that a coach from Egypt has been considered.
“I’m looking at Egypt. Already talking to one coach who was referred to us by Mohammed Elkeiy, Mostafa Asal, who is one of the top five players on the PSA World Tour.”
The Philippines failed to take home a medal in squash at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China with the mixed doubles team of Robert Garcia and Jemyca Aribado going as far as the quarterfinal before getting beaten by India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu and Dipika Pallikal, 11-7, 5-11, 4-11.
Having a foreign coach for Filipino athletes has done wonders in their international tournaments.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz claimed the country’s first gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics under the guidance of Chinese coach Kaiwen Gao and two-time artistic gymnastics champion Carlos Yulo became a household name in his sport, thanks to his former Japanese mentor Munehiro Kugimiya.
The Philippine national women’s football team made history last July by making it to the FIFA Women’s World Cup and it was thanks to the guidance of Australian coach Alen Stajcic.
In the Asian Games, the Filipinas reached the quarterfinals, the first time in 65 years, with another Australian mentor in Mark Torcaso calling the shots.
“Long time coming! It’s finally here! I am hopeful that the members of the IOC Session will ratify the inclusion of squash in the Olympic Program when they meet in Mumbai this month,” Bachmann said.
“We’ve been on the shortlist of the IOC for as long as I can remember. I am thrilled and excited for the sport of squash.”
Apart from a foreign coach, Bachmann said they will also have to raise funds in order to make their Olympic dreams a reality.
“Qualifying events such as our World Championships, similar to the Olympic Games, require funding to engage a full-time foreign coach and provide maximum international exposure and training for a dedicated core group of players. In light of us becoming an Olympic Sport, it is imperative for us to raise additional funds,” Bachmann added.