Sunday, November 8, 2015

Squash in Palestine

   Squash in Palestine started in Mandate Palestine by the British officials in the beginning of 1940's. In February 1940, Palestine Post published this news about squash. "Following the recent completion of two excellently constructed squash courts at the Jerusalem Sports Club the Committee have decided to hold the first club tournament, to commence today, February 5. A good entry of competitors has been received amongst whom are included one who has captained Oxford University and played for the Army, and another who has represented Hampshire and played for the R.A.F. It is anticipated that a number of keen games will be the result of the second draw and competitors are requested to arrange matches so that the various rounds can be played off in accordance with the posted dates. A subsidiary tournament is being run for competitors eliminated in the first two rounds. It is hoped to play the finals of both tournaments on a day be fixed at the end of February."[1]

  In 1968, a decision was made by the PLO to form the Palestine Supreme Council for Youth Care.  In 1969, few branch committees were established in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.  After 1970, the headquarters of this committee was moved from Amman to Lebanon.  A new supreme council was formed from qualified Palestinian athletic leaders in Lebanon.  New clubs were founded in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Athletic and scouts activities started to rise.  At its  first conference at Suq al-Gharb in Beirut in 1974, the Supreme Council made a decision  to change the name to Supreme Council of Youth and Sports.  In 1970's and 1980's number of federations were established.  Squash was included in the Federation of "Racket" Madrab which also include tennis, table tennis and golf. Muhamed Abu Lughud headed this federation. [2] In 1984 the Palestinian Squash Federation was established, its headquarters was in Kuwait.[3]
In 2012 a group of young Palestinians formed an association for squash. In 2013, Palestine Squash Federation was established. Currently, Amer A'seili is its President.  Since its establishment, it organized local competitions and training courses for coaches and referees. In the city of Hebron, it established the first in Palestine squash school for 80 children age 8-12. This federation is spending big efforts to  spread squash in all the regions in Palestine.
In February 2013, PSF took part in the sixteenth Asian tournament in Seoul with other 14 countries.  In August 2015, Palestine took part in the Pan Arab Tournament under-17, and under-13.


[1] Palestine Post, 5 February 1940.
[2] Khalid Ijjawi, al-Haraka al-Riyadiyya al-Falastiniyya fil Shatat, Palestine Sports Movement in the Diaspora, (Damascus: al-Dar Wataniyya al-Jadida, 2001) 485.
[3] Facebook, al-Ittihad al-Falastini lil-Iskuash, Palestine Squash Federation. 4 March 2013.

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