The European Squash Federation, founded in 1973, has voted in its first female-majority board.
It was at the Federation's Annual General Meeting in Wroclaw in Poland on Saturday that Rosie Barry (Ireland), Hugo Hannes (Belgium) and Thomas Troedsson (Sweden) were elected to join existing Vice-President Jackie Robinson (England) and President Zena Wooldridge, OBE (England).
(Pictured above is new ESF Board (L to R) Rosie Barry, Hugo Hannes, Zena Wooldridge, Thomas Troedsson & Jackie Robinson)
The AGM gave a vote of thanks to out-going Vice-Presidents Marcel Borst (Netherlands) and Pavel Sladecek (Czech Republic).
"We were very fortunate to have such excellent candidates for this year's Vice President elections," said Ms Wooldridge. "I'm particularly pleased to lead a new Board which is 60% female, which reinforces the sport's commitment to gender equality as part of its campaign for Olympic inclusion.
"It is also a Board with significant and complementary experience, and will give new impetus to the continued growth of squash across ESF's 46 member nations."
Rosie Barry, a physician by profession, is a former Irish junior and current masters' player and manager of the Irish Team. She is currently the Honorary Secretary of Irish Squash. Rosie will lead on Masters' Squash within ESF.
Hugo Hannes is President of the Flemish Squash Federation, and has previously served as Vice-President and President of European Squash, and Vice-President of the World Squash Federation. Hugo will Chair the ESF Championships Committee.
Thomas Troedsson is the Director General of Swedish Squash. He is a former Vice-President of European Squash and former Championships Director for World Squash. Thomas will lead on coaching and refereeing for ESF.
The Federation has jurisdiction over seven European Championships, team and individual. 64 national teams now compete in the annual European Team Championships across three divisions. It also has over 4,000 junior participants competing in 31 junior circuit tournaments in 30 different nations - in addition to a fast-growing masters' tournament circuit.
One of the key tasks of the ESF Board over the next year will be mobilising support behind squash's Olympic campaign.
"Europe is the largest and most active of the five squash regions, with 46 member nations," explained President Wooldridge. "The importance to our Members of becoming an Olympic sport was very evident at our recent AGM weekend.
"The new ESF Board will play an important role in leading a collective European support behind WSF's Olympic bid, for a sport which aligns so well with Olympic ideals and values."
photo Wagner Araujo
photo Jay Adeff