President of the squash federation:

President of the squash federation: "This sport is for ambitious people"

Squash Federation of Ukraine on the pages of the Internet portal We thank the media for covering the squash in the media.

President of the Squash Federation of Ukraine Yakiv Kutkovsky told about the secrets of this sport.

- To begin with, tell us why those who start playing squash, in most cases, become its obedient fans forever? What is the peculiarity and advantage of squash compared to other sports?

- Squash - a game with a "secret". Its slightly deceptive external "simplicity" turns into a challenge: can't I hit the ball? Many of those who will never betray squash will tell you that this is "can't I ?!" brought them back to the court again and again - and then it turned out that they could not do without the game. There's a crazy speed of decision-making - and it's also exciting (the speed of the ball is over 280 km / h - and you have to react. So I'll say that squash - for ambitious people who are used to achieving their goals and not stopping until they win - opponent, ball, self ... Such is the psychology of winners, by the way, it is often manifested in children, but many adults also discover such a trait in the game - or a new manifestation of it.

But these are emotions. And there is a ratio. In 2003, Forbes rated squash as the healthiest game sport. Squash gives a fantastic effect for those who want to maintain good shape, keep the body in shape, control weight. You can lose up to 1,000 calories per hour of play - and without exhausting thoughts about "Will I lose or not lose?". You just don't have time to think about it - you're completely focused on the game, it's exciting, the adrenaline is running high, the body - all its muscles - are working. Squash, by the way, is recognized as perhaps the most effective sport for adjusting weight and body shape.

Accessibility: this is not a country club, where you do not go every night, no overcrowded gym, where a lot of people do not retire after a hard day, no bulky form and equipment - squash seems to be invented so that it can be done all year round and anywhere where there is a court.

Squash teaches concentration. Do not panic - think and build a strategy of the game, until victory. So the skills you use in life will come in handy on the court - and vice versa. This is very important for children - they learn to concentrate, not to get lost in case of failure. Squash is not just about technology,

there must be good physical, psychological and tactical preparation of the player for the game. Psychological training is most important. Many good players lose matches to weaker players due to nerves. The same is true in life - the ability to keep hitting and pausing can be crucial

Squash is communication. And not only on the court, but also off it. By the way, this is also an interesting training - the opponent turns into a pleasant interlocutor, partner, friend. By the way, the same Forbes rated squash as one of the most intelligent sports, so there are almost no random people here. This is how a circle of like-minded people is formed, who are united by a common interest, a game. This is often transformed into a business relationship - because you are dealing with already proven people you trust, and this is very important in the business world. Remember how the agreement was once concluded by handshake - and this was the key to its implementation by both parties. Now fair play is becoming a factor of trust.

And, in fact, victory. Or lose. Both the first and the second are important lessons that work both on the court and in life.

Perhaps it is because of this multi-vector squash that successful people and parents choose for children: compact, efficient, reputable, good company.

- How popular is squash among Ukrainians? And abroad? Which country is soft for squash and why?

- According to the World Squash Federation, today it is played by more than 50 million people, there are about 50,000 courts around the world in 185 countries, and 150 - there are national federations. Therefore, squash is one of the main contenders for the program of the Summer Olympics. Due to the adjustment of the Olympics and the pandemic, this issue has been postponed, but the new leadership of the World Squash Federation (WSF) stressed that it will continue to make every effort to ensure that squash players also go under the Olympic banner.

As for Ukraine: today we have only 71 squash courts, 35 of them in Kyiv, others are located in Lviv, Poltava, Kharkiv, Kherson, Dnipro, Odessa, Khmelnytsky, Chernihiv, Uzhhorod. For example, it is worth noting that absolutely close to Ukraine - in Poland, which, like Ukraine, began to develop in the direction of squash in 1999, more than 1,000 courts, some of which are loaded 24/7. And this is not to mention Egypt, where about 20 thousand courts and more than a million players. In Egypt, squash is almost a national sport.

There are many examples in the world that Ukraine can focus on and that prove: squash can be and will be in demand and popular in our country. The Squash Federation of Ukraine has intensified work that will attract more people to the courts, especially among young people and children. For example, the Squash Family program has been launched, which provides active action in all areas, which will allow us to increase interest in squash, and attract new players and coaches, and long-awaited partnerships, and financial progress and support for those who are ready to create their own club:

  • implementing an affiliate program with a system of discounts for our associate members (Squash Family Members) and improving the conditions for our licensed players (Squash Family Players). Introduction of the world Masters system (we will play in 75+!).
  • creating a system that will allow those who want to have their own club and have it, build it, manage it and make a profit from it (and do it with minimal time and money).
  • training of qualified coaching staff and improving the working conditions of coaches.
  • development of children's sports through targeted programs for children's academies.
  • organization of tournaments of European and international levels.
  • increasing the recognition and prestige of Ukrainian squash in Ukraine and abroad.

- What are the chances of Ukrainian professional squash players to become the best in the world? What is missing for this?

- We have a lot of talented players, it is especially gratifying that there are a lot of talented children. And how many of them have not yet met squash? Therefore, it is important to combine systematic work with clubs, their support and interaction, the formation of a strong coaching pool and active selection work. And, of course, you need to play as much as possible - both in training and in tournaments. Last year seemed difficult in this sense, due to the pandemic the competition was postponed and canceled, but we still held some of the planned tournaments. FSU makes every effort to ensure that Ukrainian athletes are represented on international courts and that guests come to us from abroad. I can state: we succeed in this, although we would like more. We have very worthy partners, but we look forward to expanding the range of companies that are ready to support Ukrainian squash. We are also in contact with government agencies - we need support at this level, in the end, we work together for the image of Ukraine. I am convinced that such a synergy will pay off.

- What tasks and challenges did the FSU face in 2020? How successfully did you manage to overcome the crisis year?

- As it was said, the year seemed difficult and unpredictable - and it is also difficult to say what will happen next year. Of course, first of all, we are talking about a pandemic and quarantine. However, we assume that it is possible and necessary to adapt to such conditions. We plan to intensify work with young people, together with regional children's academies we plan to hold preparatory tournaments for the Cup of Ukraine among juniors, which will be held monthly and quarterly in each city. However, some competitions have been postponed or canceled - for example, the Cup of Ukraine among adults, and the Championship of Ukraine among children has been postponed to March 2021.

In all cities where squash is actively engaged, there are children's academies for different age groups, starting from 5 years old. Our coaches are professionals with a capital letter, some of them are even multiple winners and prize-winners of European and national squash tournaments. Of course, we would like our coaches, all without exception, to be champions. The coach inspires the athlete to win, because he is an example that anything is possible. Ideally, each club should have its own champion, then the children will have a real living, clear example of what a helpless amateur can grow into a Squash Champion.

In general, we assume that squash, like sports in general, is a tool for good health, as well as mood and optimism - they are just necessary for all of us in such stressful times. Therefore, we used the least opportunity to bring athletes to the court, and fans - in the fan zone, of course, in compliance with all safety rules. And we were convinced once again - interest in the game is growing, we have to take advantage of it.

- Can athletes from other sports be successful in squash?

- Of course! Here is an example. From the national men's team, team captain Konstantin Rybalchenko played table tennis before squash appeared in his life. Valery Fedoruk, a member of the squash team, his sports career was built in football as a goalkeeper. And there are many such examples, someone was a defender in football, someone played tennis, someone was in the youth basketball team. And then in their heart there was a huge place for squash.

- What should be done to make the athlete who reads us now become a squash coach?

- Everything is simple here, the official website of the FSU has all the contact details, we can also be found on FB and Instagram, write, we are always open to dialogue and will gladly provide an opportunity and support in the process of climbing the squash coach.



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