A nice cash sponsorship has come in handy for the Singapore’s 12-member squash squad as their training elevates for the upcoming SEA Games. Singapore received a very timely $50,000 boost thanks to a cash sponsorship from Marigold (a dairy and beverage company) just recently.
The squad has high medal expectations for the SEA Games coming up as they won one gold medal in 2015 as well as a silver and four bronzes in the SEA Games when it was held in Singapore. Now the 12-person squad has their eyes set on taking home two golds this time. And with the new sponsorship and cash, it will be easier to do so.
Allan Soyza is the Singapore Squash Rackets Association’s technical director and has stated that “We have high medal hopes for the jumbo doubles event. We hope to retain the men’s title and also win the newly introduced women’s title. With this money, I could do things that I could not do previously.” This included flying in Malaysian players to spar with for the Singapore team for two weeks — a great practice run for the upcoming Games. They also sent some of their own players abroad earlier in the year and they wish to do so again in August.
The absence of the hosts in the Games’ jumbo doubles events, Singapore’s squash team has an even greater shot at the gold. The players often have regular jobs in addition to their spot on the squash team. For example, national player Mao Shihui is a 25-year-old business analyst who will be competing in the international mixed doubles, the women’s team event, and the jumbo doubles. Shihui cautions against Singapore feeling overconfident in their ability to take the gold in upcoming Games.
While she says that “preparations have been great” and that she has been staying in shape with 11 sessions a week, she “know[s] who the players (at the Games) will be” and wants to perform as best as they can in order to beat some of the best players in the world and bring home medals for Singapore.