Squash Day Heralded By Launch of Official Single
World Squash Day
takes place on Saturday October 13th and this year it aims to hit
all the right notes with a musical theme.
The track called Africa, written by squash-loving composer
Stuart Sharp, is being released by the Pure Sync label as the
Official Single of World Squash Day. It will also be available on
The song was recorded live at a charity concert staged by Stuart in
Zambia in January 1989.
Sung by the late Oliver Cheatham, the track still sounds as fresh
and vibrant as it did on the day 80,000 people packed into Lusaka's
National Stadium to hear it for the first time.
Composer Sharp hopes it will be given plenty of air-time by TV and radio
stations during the build-up to World Squash Day.
"That concert was the
culmination of a major project to give people in the shanty towns the
chance to play sport and I was busy handing out hundreds of squash
rackets, balls and equipment,"
"Some 29 years on I am
delighted to support World Squash Day, which has the same aims of making
squash accessible to as many people as possible.
"Squash, well known for being
one of the best sports for health and fitness, can also provide a great
solution in the fight to combat childhood obesity in developed
Sharp's love of squash grew when he was homeless in London in the 1980s.
He wandered in to the Wembley Squash Centre and watched in awe as he saw
Jahangir Khan training with his coach Rahmat Khan as the
Pakistani wonder boy was launching an astonishing career that made him
the most successful player in the history of the sport.
Sharp ended up travelling the world with the Khans and filmed some of
the highlights of Jahangir's career.
He has recently re-edited much of this vintage footage and a short film
called "Jahangir Khan" is due to be launched next month at the
Pakistan High Commission in London.
World Squash Day is endorsed by the World Squash Federation and
the PSA (Professional Squash Association), which manages the
World Tour for the game's male and female professionals.
Founder Alan Thatcher added: "I always appreciate the support
of the WSF and the PSA players as we strive to promote squash at every
club on the planet on the same day.
"This year it is extra special
to have our own theme song and the energy and passion in 'Africa'
mirrors how so many squash enthusiasts feel about their sport.
"We are particularly hoping
that African nations will respond to this wonderful track and help to
promote the game across that whole continent and beyond."
Oliver Cheatham (1948-2013) was an American R&B singer whose biggest hit
came with the 1983 song 'Get Down Saturday Night.'
Sharp added: "He loved being on stage in Zambia. His voice, his
performance and personality are still overwhelming when I see the
recording now. He was such a great singer and I am so pleased to see
this adding a new dimension to the enormous work already done for the
game by World Squash Day."
Sharp, despite a lack of any formal musical training, went on to write a
number of symphonies, which were recorded by The London Philharmonia
movie of his extraordinary life story, based on his autobiography 'The
Gift' (available on Amazon) is being produced by Gold Circle Films in
WORLD SQUASH DAY 2018
Stuart Sharp in Zambia, leading up to the charity concert in Lusaka:
The Gift UK:
The Gift US:
For further information from World Squash Day founder Alan Thatcher: