Hong Kong: In the AGM held yesterday at Hong Kong, the World Squash Federation elected Jacques Fontaine to succeed N. Ramachandran following the completion of the Ramachandran’s second and final four-year term.
Fontaine is the ninth President of the World Squash Federation since its inception in 1967 as he becomes the first French and third European to be at the helm of affairs. He was elected by delegates representing a record 59 National Federations attending the 46th AGM held at Hong Kong.
Speaking about his vision post announcements of his victory, Fontaine said, “My intention will be to work with a new governance model based on integrity, transparency and team spirit. The WSF needs to establish a defined agreement with the professional section of our discipline, the PSA.”
Speaking further about the importance of the Olympic Agenda 2020, he added, “The Olympic agenda remains a priority, along with increasing the profile of our sport worldwide and supporting grassroots development.”
The new President of the World Squash Federation also highlighted the importance of collaboration from Member Nations and said, “Collaboration of all Member Nations is a must.”
The AGM also elected four new Vice Presidents in Pablo Serna, the current President of the Colombian Federation; Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the five-time World Champion and current World Over-45 Champion from Australia; Gar Holohan, President of the Irish Federation; and Huang Ying How, President of the Malaysian Federation.
Speaking about the new Vice Presidents, the WSF President said, “They bring a tremendous skill set, global representation and an unparalleled commitment. I am confident this will be the beginning of a new era for squash.”
Jacques Fontaine is the current President of the French Squash Federation and European Regional Vice President other than being a Board Member of the French National Olympic Committee. The other candidates for the top positions were Natalie Grainger, a former world number one from the USA who recently won the World Over-35 title; Egyptian Mohamed El Menshawy, a WSF Vice President for six years; and Zena Wooldridge, President of the European Squash Federation, from England.
N. Ramachandran, who completed his second and final term at the helm of affairs, was characterised by his efforts to secure a place for squash on the Olympic Games 2020 Programme – a bid which was ultimately unsuccessful.
Speaking about his period at the topmost position, Ramachandran said, “I want to say what an honour I feel in my heart to have had the opportunity to serve our Member Nations and the sport for the last eight years as your President.”
Ramachandran, who belongs to Chennai in India, became WSF President in 2008, having previously been President of the Asian Regional Federation, concluded, “I have had the privilege of not only having good teams behind me, but so much support from so many people generally. I leave feeling that I have taken WSF forward.”
The AGM unanimously approved the application of Tahiti as the newest WSF member. The new board was delighted that squash legend Jahangir Khan agreed to serve a further term as Emeritus President of the WSF.