29th Women’s World Championship Grand Opening Ceremony

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GEORGETOWN, March 19 – Penang will host the 29th Women’s World Championship 2013 for the 1st time in our history on March 15-23, 2014 at sPICE (Subterranean Penang International Conference & Exhibition Centre) in Penang. This follows the cancellation of the 2013 Women’s World Championship when both Hong Kong and Egypt rejected proposals to organize it last year. Penang aspires to be a sporting city as part of a clean, green, healthy and safe Penang. WSA’s agreement to permit Penang to host this event is a strong recognition that Penang possesses the facilities, amenities and infrastructure of a fitting location for an international event as well as the experience and expertise to organize a world championship.

The cancellation of the Women’s World Squash Championship last year meant world No. 1 Nicol David was compelled to keep her world crown for an extended period. The Penang state government felt that it was a real shame that Penang’s very own world squash queen will not be able to add to her already impressive collection of seven world titles earned in 2005, 2006, 2008 – 2012. Malaysians, especially Penangites, are eagerly awaiting her to defend her title for a record eighth time.

For this reason, the Penang state government decided to step in to allow the 2013 championship to continue as well as give Penangites an unique opportunity to see our very own squash queen in action, and hopefully live up to expectations by winning the World title again. The Women’s Squash Association (WSA) premier event, which may cost up to RM1 million, will involve a prize money of USD 120,000. The state government will be approaching sponsors to assist in sharing the cost of this tournament.

We are also happy to announce that Eastin Hotel will be the official hotel for this Championship. A permanent show court or demountable all-glass court must be used for the quarter-finals, semifinals and final of the Championship. This world championship would generate truly worldwide TV and general media coverage.The Women’s World Championship feature a 32 player main draw played over 5 / 6 days as agreed, and a preceding maximum 64 player qualification draw played over 3 days, March 15th to 17th. The qualification draw will be held at the Nicol David International Squash Center, Bukit Dumbar with the final games at sPICE.

IMB Group today announced that it has signed on as the title sponsor of the 29th Women’s World Squash Championship in Penang. Part of the Women’s Squash Association (WSA) World Series Platinum, the Penang-CIMB Women’s World Championship will take place at the Subterranean Penang International Conference and Exhibition Centre (sPICE) from 14 to 23 March 2014. The tournament field will be spearheaded by women’s World No. 1 Dato’ Nicol David and will feature all of the Top 10 players in the world.

A signing ceremony was held earlier here between CIMB and the State Government. CIMB was represented by its Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Effendy Shahul Hamid whilst Chong Eng, Penang State EXCO for Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development, signed on behalf of the Penang State Government. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng.

At the ceremony, Lim said, “We are excited that the Women’s World Championship has returned after a brief break last year, and Penang has been given the opportunity to host this year.” “Malaysia is well known as a host to many international sporting events, and this will certainly add one more to the list and boost the country as one of the world’s major tourist destinations, as well as promoting Visit Malaysia Year 2014. Penang is the perfect place to host an international event like this with great sporting facilities, amenities and infrastructure as well as the experience to organise a world championship. Besides, this will also be ideal for Nicol to defend her title on home ground,” Lim added.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Effendy said, “We are thrilled to be involved. CIMB is no stranger to the world of squash and it is only natural for us to play a leading role in a World Championship event. Since 2005, through a strong partnership with Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM), we have involved ourselves in all aspects of the sport ranging from junior development programmes to sponsorship of the national open. Without a doubt, one of our most visible commercial programmes is being Nicol David’s main sponsor and we are excited she will be defending her world title.” “We have a large presence in Penang and as such we have some special activities lined up for our customers, including a private meet and greet session with Nicol David. Really looking forward to the week,” Effendy concluded.

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