Squash Is HUGELY Underrated: My Experience At The PSA World Championships 2017

Squash is arguably the most gender equal sport and it's shocking that it's not included in the Olympics.

As you can tell by this website, I'm mainly interested in weight-lifting and bodybuilding. Actually, rugby & soccer take a strong second place, but one thing you'll notice about these sports are that the audience for the women's matches aren't nearly as big as for the men's fixtures.

This is one of the key points I want to make in this article; after experiencing the PSA World Championships 2017 in Manchester at the Central Convention Complex, I realized that Squash is arguably the most gender equal sport out there. It's crazy how underrated it really is.

For this reason, I wanted to put together this article to showcase the main reasons I believe that Squash should be propelled into the spotlight.


Squash-Is-HUGELY-Underrated-My-Experience-At-The-PSA-World-Championships-2017-3*The view of the Squash court at the Manchester Central Convention Complex from my seat.


Equally Animated Crowd For Both Male & Female Athletes

As I mentioned in the opening section, in sports such as rugby and soccer, the female athletes aren't nearly as appreciated as the men. In fact, Johnny Wilkinson or Cristiano Ronaldo are probably household names in most countries, but unfortunately, many would struggle to name even 1 women's rugby player.

Now, what I loved about seeing at the PSA World Championships 2017, is that the audience weren't gender biased at all; there were no empty seats for the women's games, and you could even argue that the audience were more animated during them.

It's no surprise after watching Camille Serme battle in a high intensity war with Egypt's Raneem El Welily (something i'll expand on later).

I would even go as far as saying the women would give the men a seriously hard-time in a competitive game (something I'm sure the men such as Mohamed El Shorbagy would be more than happy to agree with) - I couldn't think of another sport where this would be the case.

That's no disrespect to the men's squash players either, as they're arguably some of the fittest and most technically-skilled athletes out there.

Equal Prize Money

This is the big one. Both male and female athletes received exactly the same prize money at the PSA World Championships in Manchester ($45,000).

Considering that there's still a huge pay-gap between genders in other sports (even in tennis) this is a remarkable feat that should be acknowledged.

Ultimately, this is something that should be replicated in other sports. But as I mentioned before, it's not surprising considering the huge gap in popularity between the men's and women's soccer and rugby teams.


Squash-Is-HUGELY-Underrated-My-Experience-At-The-PSA-World-Championships-2017-1*I was privileged to be sat on the front row watching Camille Serme vs Raneem El Welily in the women's semi-final.


My Favorite Game: Camille Serme vs Raneem El Welily

I appreciate both men's and women's sports. But in all honesty, give me a choice of tickets between the men's soccer world cup final or the women's, and I'd pick the men's every time (and I believe over 90% of men would do the same).

However, when it comes to squash, I would happily just watch the women play; this is a sport where females thrive and should be celebrated by everyone for their athleticism and determination.

Sports[wo]manship, flair, intensity and all-out entertainment

In fact, my favorite game in the whole PSA World Championships 2017 was Camille Serme vs Raneem El Welily. It had everything - sports[wo]manship, flair, intensity and all-out entertainment for the entirety of the game's duration.

I couldn't think of another sport I'd seen first hand where I didn't check my phone once. I didn't want to miss a second, with every moment presenting another incredible shot or full-blown rally.

High-paced game and incredible fitness levels

Another thing I appreciated was how intense the atmosphere was in the Manchester Central Convention Complex. You could literally hear each breath the athletes took, and even the sweat-drops landing on the floor; this should illustrate how close the audience is sat to the court, and I can't think of another sport where this is the case.

You can't ignore the fitness levels of these athletes either. These athletes constantly cover every square of the court to complete each shot, and never give-up until they either win or lose.

Ultimately, this game had everything. And while this was my 1st real experience watching professional Squash, I was pleasantly surprised to see opponents picking each other off-the-floor, instead of rolling around trying to receive penalties.

*Update* Raneen El Welily's Reply To LeanBulking 

Fortunately, we managed to contact the 2017 Women's PSA World Champion, Raneem El Welily. We were honored to hear that she enjoyed this review and agreed with many of our views on the sport.

Here's what Raneem had to say:

"Thank you for your appreciation. It's always nice to see someone falling in love with our sport. This is a great review and you are right in many aspects. I hope we'll see you in more events in the future." 


Squash-Is-HUGELY-Underrated-My-Experience-At-The-PSA-World-Championships-2017-2*Raneem El Welily being interviewed after her victory in my favorite game of the PSA World Championships 2017, with Camille Serme walking past in my photo.


Verdict: Squash Is Extremely Underrated and Should Be Included In Olympic Games

I can honestly say that I'm now a big fan of Squash. I would be honored to watch these athletes battle in their glass Colosseum once more.

After leaving the Semi-Final of the PSA World Championships 2017, I naturally wondered why I'd never seen Squash as part of the Olympic Games before.

Ultimately, I was shocked to hear that it's been regularly left out of the event, with wrestling taking priority at the 2020 games in Tokyo.

I strongly believe that Squash has paved the way for many sports in the future; i'll repeat that it's arguably the most gender equal sport I've seen, with the sportsmanship of the athletes being second-to-none too.

As a result, hopefully this incredible sport will be showcased on the biggest sporting platform in the world. I wouldn't be surprised to see the popularity of the sport grow even further in the next few years either.

10 thoughts on “Squash Is HUGELY Underrated: My Experience At The PSA World Championships 2017

  1. Squash is an amazing sport – I am totally addicted to it.

    And it wasnt wrestling but (amongst others) sportsclimbing and skateboarding that were picked as a demonstation sport. What a farce!!

    Glad to see this review on this amazing sport! 👍🏻

    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks for reaching out! I’m now a big fan of Squash and can’t wait for the next big championship nearby!

      Also, it is a HUGE shame that Squash isn’t involved at the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo, but I hope that it will be in future Olympic games!

      Thanks for your support, we had a blast watching the World Championships 2017 in Manchester, and we’ll continue supporting the sport!

      Best regards,
      LeanBulking.com

  2. Hey bro never heard of this sport before but sounds awesome an will give it a watch! Looks abit like tennis at first but i cn tel its a whole diff kettle of fish frm youtube vids!

    • Hi Big J,

      Thanks for reaching out! I’m glad that I exposed you to Squash, as giving Squash some positive publicity with bodybuilding or other sports fans is exactly my aim for this article!

      Let me know what you think if you ever see a live Squash game!

      Best regards,
      LeanBulking.com

  3. I’m a huge squash fan and junior player and I’ve recently started writing articles on it. It’s so great to see people appreciating squash for the great sport that it is. Even at non-professional levels, it’s such a great sport to both watch and play. In terms of gender equality, I think the main reason why it is so is that the men’s and women’s games are talked about equally. Most tournaments, at least the big ones, are played together, so fans don’t have to go to different places to watch both. A big reason why women’s soccer and rugby isn’t as big is that it isn’t talked about, and therefore people aren’t encouraged to go to games and watch the players they know, whereas most squash fans are enthusiastic about both the men’s and women’s games equally.

    Thanks for writing this article,
    Bryn

    • Hi Bryn,

      Thanks for reaching out and for your compliments! You offer an interesting insight into Squash, and whatever is going on is definitely working to bring about gender equality, which is amazing to see!

      Best regards,
      LeanBulking.com

  4. Agree 100%, squash is a fantastic sport both to play and to watch, hopefully experiencing such a great event will push you to become a regular part of the community!

    As talented and as exciting as some of the female players are in their own right however, there’s still a huge chasm in standard between them and the elite male players – there’s no way that “the women would give the men a seriously hard-time in a competitive game”, the gap from the male to the female game is pretty vast.

  5. Great comment. There has never been any doubt about the level of athleticism, racket athleticism, racket and spatial complexity, sportsmanship or sports(wo)manship, conduct, social awareness, media savvy, innovative coaching and administrative personnel in the Squash Rackets community. What is needed is communication of a sport that is inherently difficult to televise and so translate into major TV network coverage. This can be done with the established methods of contemporary optics, super computers accessible through collaboration with the scientific community. And so the economic and political clout that it will bring and will enable entry into the Olympics! Until then we will be preaching to the choir!

    • Hi Rosanna,

      Thanks for reaching out! We’re glad that you appreciated our review! We’ll continue supporting the sport with articles in the future and hopefully the Squash community can come together and help the push for the Olympics!

      Best regards,
      LeanBulking.com

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