June 6, 2013 10:34 am /News /2 Comments

A survey of almost 1,500 members of the public commissioned by a leading online sport and fitness equipment retailer has found that more than two thirds of the UK public would like to see squash included as an Olympic sport.

A study into the sports vying for inclusion into the 2020 Olympics has found that squash and wrestling are the two most popular public choices.

The survey of 1,485 British adults commissioned by online sport and fitness equipment retailer www.Sweatband.com looked at the popularity of the sports making a bid for inclusion into the 2020 Olympics, the host nation of which is as yet undecided.

When asked the multiple answer question ‘which of the following sports would you like to see included in the 2020 Olympics?’, squash was named the sport the public would most like to see at the Games, with 68% of the vote. Wrestling, which was ejected from the ‘Olympic Family’ earlier this year, was also a popular choice, with 62% of the public vote.

This public sentiment tallies well with the International Olympic Committee’s recently announced three sport shortlist of wrestling, squash and the joint bid by baseball (for men) and softball (for women). This shortlist was named after karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu were all eliminated in a series of secret ballots held by the committee’s executive board in St Petersburg.

Of the original eight sports in consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics*, karate and squash were the most recognised of the eight sports vying for Olympic inclusion, with 95% and 91% awareness with survey respondents, respectively.

The least recognised of the eight sports were wushu – better known as kung-fu, but described in the survey by its formal name – with 5% and sport climbing, with 15% awareness with respondents.

The survey also looked at levels of participation in sport, finding that a third, 34%, of participants, the majority; ‘never’ participate in a team or individual sport. Just 7% said they do so ‘more than once a week’, with a quarter, 24%, of the respondents admitting they participate in sport once per month. The remaining 18% stated that they do so ‘less than once a month’.

At every age range listed in the survey, men were found to be more likely to participate in sport than women.

Of the eight sports, squash is the sport most respondents had participated in, with 41% saying they’d played squash at least once. A third, 32%, of respondents, said they’d participated in baseball/softball in the past, whilst a small minority of the public said they’d participated in Karate (17%), roller sports (4%), sport climbing (3%), wakeboarding (13%) and wrestling (8%). Not one of the respondents said they’d participated in wushu.

Results of 2020 Olympics survey for Sweatband.com

27/05/13 – 03/06/13, 1,485 respondents – UK adults

1. What age range do you belong to?

  • 18-25 – 25%
  • 26-30 – 23%
  • 31-40 – 29%
  • 41-50 – 15%
  • 51-60 – 6%
  • 60+ – 2%

2. Gender:

  • Male – 55%
  • Female – 45%

3. How regularly do you participate in a team or individual sport?

  • More than once a week – 7%
  • Once a week – 17%
  • Once a month – 24%
  • Less than once a month – 18%
  • Never – 34%

4. Please select each of the sports are you aware of from the list below (multiple answer):

  • Baseball/softball – 82%
  • Karate – 95%
  • Roller sports – 31%
  • Sport climbing – 15%
  • Squash – 91%
  • Wakeboarding – 41%
  • Wrestling – 79%
  • Wushu – 5%

5. Have you ever participated in any of the below sports (multiple answer)?

  • Baseball/softball – 32%
  • Karate – 12%
  • Roller sports – 4%
  • Sport climbing – 3%
  • Squash – 41%
  • Wakeboarding – 13%
  • Wrestling – 8%
  • Wushu – 0%

6. Which of the following sports would you like to see included in the 2020 Olympics (multiple answer)?

  • Baseball – 18%
  • Karate – 41%
  • Roller sports – 11%
  • Sport climbing – 6%
  • Squash – 68%
  • Wakeboarding – 23%
  • Wrestling – 62%
  • Wushu – 3%

7. Which of the following were you aware was up for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics (multiple answer)?

  • Baseball – 16%
  • Karate – 24%
  • Roller sports – 8%
  • Sport climbing – 3%
  • Squash – 19%
  • Wakeboarding – 5%
  • Wrestling – 33%
  • Wushu – 2%

8. Select the sports currently included you do NOT think should not be an Olympic sport (multiple answer):

  • Diving – 11%
  • Swimming – 6%
  • Synchronized Swimming – 24%
  • Water polo – 17%
  • Archery – 13%
  • Athletics – 2%
  • Badminton – 12%
  • Basketball – 27%
  • Boxing – 19%
  • Canoe kayak – 31%
  • Cycling BMX – 34%
  • Cycling Road – 17%
  • Cycling Track – 13%
  • Mountain Bike – 25%
  • Equestrian: Dressage – 41%
  • Equestrian: Eventing – 37%
  • Equestrian: Jumping – 46%
  • Fencing – 32%
  • Football – 21%
  • Golf – 16%
  • Artistic Gymnastics – 8%
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics – 33%
  • Trampoline – 18%
  • Handball – 36%
  • Hockey – 25%
  • Judo – 16%
  • Modern pentathlon – 7%
  • Rowing – 6%
  • Rugby – 29%
  • Sailing – 32%
  • Shooting – 14%
  • Table tennis – 34%
  • Taekwondo – 29%
  • Tennis – 11%
  • Triathlon – 4%
  • Beach volleyball – 14%
  • Volleyball – 27%
  • Weightlifting – 9%

Maz Darvish, CEO of Sweatband.com made the following comment:

“At Sweatband, we’ve seen a large increase in the number of purchases related to racquet sports since the last Olympics, perhaps something we can put down to Andy Murray’s fantastic gold medal win. As an incredibly exciting and enjoyable sport, I’d be thrilled to see squash included, opening it up to a new audience on a global scale.

“Although wrestling is perhaps the favourite at this stage, I’d argue that given wrestling has been an Olympic sport for years but participation remains low, squash’s inclusion would do more for the health of people all around the world, encouraging people that haven’t played it to give it a go.”

View the original story on Sweatband.com |

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2 thoughts on “Brits opt for Squash for 2020

  1. SteveCubs
    June 6, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Turning question 8 around, if we take the IOC’s 2005 requirement of “two-thirds majority to be considered an Olympic Sport” which denied Squash and Karate their places in the 2012 Olympics, the ones falling short would be:

    Cycling BMX (66%)
    Equestrian (all three disciplines) (59%, 63%, 54%)
    Handball (64%)
    Table Tennis (66%)

    with Fencing, Rhythmic Gymnastics and Sailing only just making the cut

    The often-criticised Synchronised Swimming gets through with a healthy 76%, and Beach Volleyball with a massive 86%, and the favourite “why is it in there” Football scores a decent 79%.

    The new sports come out fairly well, Golf with 84% and Rugby with 71%.

  2. Jason Bryant
    June 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    This comment baffles me:
    “Although wrestling is perhaps the favourite at this stage, I’d argue that given wrestling has been an Olympic sport for years but participation remains low”

    This is an absolute falsehood. Participation in countries not named Great Britain is very high. In the U.S., it’s the sixth most popular sport for boys in high school and is the fastest-growing sport for girls in the U.S. (These stats are verifiable at NFHS.org)

    The U.S. is not an outlier, rather the norm across the world. I would hope if people trying to push squash, they’d at least get their facts correct. There are also very few statistical “facts” from these types of stories that actually provide real and valid data.

    If the premise of squash is to get more people to play recreationally, then what is it? A sport or a way to keep fit? Are we going to put in health club exercises that keep people fit, too?

    I’ve met one person in my life who plays squash here in the U.S., and they were from India. I’ve also lived across the country in various metro areas where different sports are popular. I’ve seem people play pickleball, handball and ultimate frisbee, but never met an American who plays squash.

    I just ask we be truthful in statements and not make unverifiable claims.

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