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HCL Squash Podium Program Announces New Initiatives To Strengthen India's Squash Ecosystem !

HCL Squash Podium Program Announces New Initiatives To Strengthen India's Squash Ecosystem !

Revival of National Doubles Championship after 17 Years, PSA Tournaments in new territories, NexGen player development with Brain Training Program and introduction of Grassroots program

Chennai, May 13, 2024: To enhance the squash ecosystem in India, HCL, a leading global conglomerate, along with the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI), announced new initiatives in the HCL Squash Podium Program. Since its launch in 2019, the multi-pronged program has focused on driving a 360-degree overhaul in Indian Squash by multiplying the potential of athletes and providing them with the necessary support, infrastructure and opportunities. It is dedicated to guide players to finish at the top of the podium at prestigious international events, including the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2026, while also laying the groundwork for participation in the LA Olympics in 2028.

Sundar Mahalingam, President of Strategy, HCL Corporation commented at the launch, "The HCL Squash Podium Program, launched in 2019, resonates deeply with our core philosophy of 'Human Potential Multiplied'. Over the past five years, we've witnessed a rise from 26 to 88 world-ranking players in India, which is a testament to the program's efficacy. The program has now been redesigned to further revolutionize the Indian Squash landscape. It aims to unlock the full potential of squash athletes, coaches, and referees, providing them with global opportunities. HCL is thrilled to be a part of this transformative journey, equipping our athletes for upcoming global competitions."

N. Ramachandran, Patron of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) said, “HCL’s unwavering support for nearly a decade has played a pivotal role in India’s remarkable success, including World Doubles titles, Commonwealth Games medals, and, most recently, five medals at the Asian Games. This sustained dedication has propelled our athletes to unprecedented heights.”

The new features that have been added to the Squash Podium Program include:

HCL National Doubles Championship: After witnessing recent success in the doubles category, HCL is reviving this category after 17 years to support the Indian players. It is the first event planned as a part of Squash Podium Program and is being held from 13 – 15 May at Indian Squash Academy, Chennai. The championship is bringing together a pair of top-seeded players including Abhay Singh with Velvan Senthilkumar, Pooja Arthi with Rathika S. competing in the male and female category respectively. The exciting pairing of Abhay Singh with Joshna Chinappa and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu with Rathika S. will be seen in the Mixed Doubles category. The winners will be representing India at the Asian Squash Doubles Championship scheduled from July 4-7 in Johor, Malaysia.


HCL Squash Tour & Junior National Events: Five international PSA Challenger tournaments will be organised in new cities including Indore, Kolkata, Goa, etc. These squash tournaments will give both junior and senior players exposure to an international squash tournament and enhance their world ranking. The first PSA tournament is lined up from May 22 - 27 in Indore at the heritage campus of the famous Daly College.



NexGen Squash: HCL will support the identified potential junior players by providing them access to good coaches, international exposure, and technical and scientific training. The strategic Brain Training Program (a 6-month-long neurofeedback training to improve players’ cognitive skills) will focus on assessing their strengths and weaknesses to ultimately drive improvement in their performance. A trained sports psychologist will be closely working with the players. By undergoing this training with consistency and hard work, a player can expect improved memory, focus, body control, balance, and enhanced cognitive agility which will further help in upping their game. 

Grassroots Squash: Through this initiative, HCL aims to introduce squash to children from a young age to increase the number of players between the ages of 6 to 12 years. Under the pilot program being launched this year, HCL will be tying up with schools across the country, starting with Noida and Chennai.

Ongoing Activities since the launch of Squash Podium Program in 2019:

High-Performance Camp for Asian & World Junior Championships: Selection Trials will be organised for Asian/World Junior in U13, U15, U17 & U19 categories leading to the selection of the top 16 players who will undergo a high-performance camp for 1 week in Chennai with Indian coaches and British Squash Coach, Chris Ryder. 

Referee Development Program: This includes a referee mentorship program in which mentors will accompany and assess referees during squash tournaments. This will also be followed by their training, certification, and international exposure.

Coach Development Program: A four-week-long coach-development clinic will be conducted in four different cities. The coaches will get the opportunity to train and learn from an international tutor along with a top Indian coach. These coaches will also be a part of the HCL’s grassroots program and will get hands-on experience in training the budding players.

Apart from this, through strategic information dissemination and fan engagement initiatives, the new HCL Squash Podium Program will elevate the profile of squash in India.


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