Launch the HCL Squash Podium Program to improve both player and coaching standards
with the aim of getting more Indian players to finish at the podium
Chennai, May 15, 2019: HCL, a leading global conglomerate, today announced the launch of HCL
Squash Podium Program in partnership with the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) to
significantly improve the Squash ecosystem in India. The multi-pronged program will focus on driving
a 360-degree overhaul in Indian Squash by improving both player (senior and junior) and coaching
standards and enhancing the overall prominence of the sport in the country. As part of this initiative,
HCL and SRFI will also host the HCL Indian Tour – a Professional Squash Association (PSA) multi-city
circuit in the country, giving the Indian players an opportunity to compete against the world’s best on
their home turf.
The year-long HCL Squash Podium Program will host:-
Multiple coaching camps and referee clinics – HCL and SRFI will work towards capacitybuilding and skill enhancement for existing Indian coaches and referees and benchmark them
to standards recommended by World Squash Federation (WSF). With this HCL and SRFI aim
to significantly improve the current number of 13 WSF Level 2 Coaches in the country to help
the upcoming Indian players greater access to world-class coaches and enhance their overall
performance. HCL and SRFI will also host referee clinics along with each PSA tournament to
help improve refereeing standards.
HCL Indian Tour – HCL and SRFI will organize multi-city PSA tournaments in both men’s and
women’s categories to help upcoming players in the country gain international ranking points
and climb up the PSA rankings. These tournaments will also offer a larger number of Indian
players the opportunity to compete against some of the best international players without
making the investment of travelling to international locations.
HCL Indian Junior Open – the annual flagship event in the junior category by HCL will now be
organized as a Platinum event under the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) calendar (the highest
level championship in the Asian Circuit) and will be rated as a Six-star tournament by SRFI. The
top players from this tournament will receive ranking points which will add up to their junior
Asian rankings in the relevant age group.
HCL High Performance Camps – half-yearly, two-week performance camps for 32 shortlisted
junior players with top national and international coaches. These camps will be geared
towards improving game tactics, strength and conditioning and will also focus on nutritional
direction and psychological counselling. Individual player assessment reports will be created
during these camps by leveraging sports science, to offer customized guidance to each player
and help them perform better against their international counterparts.
Announcing the HCL Squash Podium Program, Sundar Mahalingam, Chief Strategy Officer, HCL
Corporation said, “HCL has been supporting Squash for over three years now by creating world-class
individual tournaments. As an organization, HCL believes in driving deep impact in the areas that we
support and therefore we are now strengthening our commitment to the sport with the aim of
significantly enhancing the existing Squash ecosystem in the country. This will require long-term
investment covering a breadth of areas including tournaments, coaching and mental and physical
fitness of the players. I am hopeful that the combined efforts of HCL and SRFI will help promising players
emerge as the next stars of Indian Squash on the global stage.”
Mr. Debendranath Sarangi, President SRFI said, “Indian Squash has grabbed a lot of attention in the
recent years with players like Joshna Chinappa and Saurav Ghoshal securing important international
wins for the country. However, there are only three Indian players in Top 50 PSA rankings in the world
today (including Joshna and Saurav). To ensure that Indian Squash not only continues its success but
emerges at the top, it is important that the next rung of players get the right exposure both in terms
of quality of tournaments as well as coaching. With HCL, we have found common synergies in terms of
our goals for Indian Squash. I am confident that through our combined efforts we will enable India take
its rightful place in the pantheon of great squash playing nations.”
HCL has been supporting Squash in the country for over three years now and has been organizing HCL
Junior Squash tournament since 2016. HCL scaled-up its efforts by partnering with SRFI to organize
the HCL Senior National Squash Championship in 2017 and again in 2018.
Indian player rankings
Last month, Saurav Ghoshal became the first Indian male squash player to enter the top 10 in the
latest PSA world rankings. Egypt’s world champion Ali Farag, meanwhile, maintains his position at the
top of the ladder. The other Indian male in the top 50 is Ramit Tandon (49).
In the women’s rankings, Joshna Chinappa continues to be the best-ranked Indian, moving up to the
15th position. Dipika Palllikal Karthik had earlier become the first Indian woman to be ranked 10, she
is currently ranked 73 as she has not being playing competitive squash since October 2018.
Founded in 1976 as one of India’s original IT garage start-ups, HCL is a pioneer of modern computing with many
firsts to its credit, including the introduction of the 8-bit microprocessor-based computer in 1978 well before its
global peers. Today, the HCL Enterprise has a presence across varied sectors that include technology, healthcare
and talent management solutions and comprises three companies – HCL Infosystems, HCL Technologies and HCL
Healthcare. The enterprise generates annual revenues of over US $8.6 billion with more than 13,000 employees
from 140 nationalities operating across 44 countries, including over 500 points of presence in India. For further
information, visit www.hcl.com
The Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) was formed to oversee the promotion and development of the
sport in India. The SRFI has more than 20 state associations and affiliated units with its headquarters in Chennai.
The federation is affiliated to World Squash Federation / Asian Squash Federation & Recognised by Government.
SRFI has been forging ahead with dynamic plans ensuring promotion, development and performance of the sport
at all levels.
For further information, please contact:
On behalf of HCL:
Sadaf Khan – 09620696668/ firstname.lastname@example.org