Brunei is another country that is looking to share the spotlight in Squash with Asian counterparts, notably Malaysia and make a great impact on the sport at all levels.
However, one of Brunei’s leading female Squash athletes, Hamidah Binti Ismail; made a great statement in the Borneo Bulletin, appealing for more people of all abilities, especially the youth segment, to take up the sport.
Now this statement by one of the leading national athletes of the sport carries a lot of kudos.
Furthermore, it could get the President of Brunei Squash Rackets Association to lobby both the Minister for Sport and Culture and the Professional Squash Association to help boost the grassroots development of the sport in the country.
More access to courts, develop existing infrastructure
Looking at the number of Squash clubs in Brunei, there are only four main venues open to the public to play Squash:
Brunei National Squash Center
Royal Brunei Recreational Club
Takaful Brunei Sport and Health Club
Royal Brunei Polo Club
Now any of these venues can host a Squash exhibition match just generate interest amongst young people in Brunei. Even better, perhaps develop a collaboration with private clubs to help develop an elite programme for the grassroots development with the best junior players gaining access to the best training and guidance.
Collaboration with local business community
In order for Squash in Brunei to flourish, they can forge a partnership with the local business community to help with getting young people into the sport. For instance, Squash in the Caribbean is doing extremely well as there are numerous organisations that are sponsoring tournaments at regional and national level, in an effort to boost brand awareness, as well as generate new leads too.
Invitationals to neighbours for tournaments
With neighbours Malaysia, maybe the Brunei Squash Rackets Association can invite two of Malaysians leading Squash players to its annual Squash showcase tournament the Brunei International.
This would be a great way of getting strong enough media attention plus serve as inspiration for young people at a grassroots level. Let us not forget, they can stream the tournament via YouTube live.
Take note of other emerging Squash playing countries
Recently there has been a newly elected president of the Brunei Squash Rackets Association, who number one remit is gaining more exposure of the sport in the country.
This is well and good, but it is strongly advisable that, he should take note of the other countries that have had decline in Squash participation, thus have lobbied the national government to help develop the grassroots development and attracted new partners and have launched new projects.
On the face of it, Squash in Brunei only competes with Badminton – not its other racquet cousin, Tennis, as the nation’s favourite racquet sport.
In conclusion, as the fifth richest country, there is no shortage of financial resources to develop Squash further in Brunei, hence the governing body may have to invest in more venues that are public and seek innovations in Squash just to attract more people to develop the sport further and keep the sport for the next generation.