FORMER squash world champion Peter Nicol MBE warmed up for the forthcoming Xodus 7 Continent Challenge by taking on staff from the title sponsors at Aberdeen Squash Club last Wednesday, (April 11).
International energy consultancy Xodus Group is providing a substantial five figure sum of financial backing for the 7 Continent Challenge, a one-off, unique squash event to raise thousands for charity and boost the sport’s bid to be part of the 2020 Olympic Games.
Inverurie’s Nicol rallied with a number of Xodus staff at Aberdeen Squash Club ahead of his departure to the Falkland Islands, the first stage of this unique challenge. Peter will join former top-30 player Tim Garner as they battle it out on court over 7 matches in 7 days across 7 continents.
The gruelling event will see the players travel more than 40,000 miles and spend over 70 hours on a plane in a test of both mental and physical endurance. With each game lasting around an hour, the tightest turnaround will be 14 hours spent on the ground in Australia.
The Xodus 7 Continent Challenge began last Saturday (April 13) in the Falklands. It will then move to Santiago, Chile; Sydney, Australia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Cairo in Egypt; and then London, UK; and culminating in the crowning ceremony in New York on Saturday, April 20.
Nicol said he’s a big fan of Xodus’ sporting ethos and worked closely with the company during the Legends of Squash event. He says he’s incredibly proud that the group continues to support the game and its ambitions to be an Olympic sport.
“I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get started on what will be an amazing adventure. This wouldn’t have happened without Xodus’ fantastic sponsorship,” Nicol added. “I’m really grateful for their support, not just for this challenge, but for squash in general.”
Though squash has featured regularly at the Commonwealth Games, it has yet to be accepted in the Olympics. The Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is part of a united effort by squash players and associations to join the 2020 Olympic Programme. A decision will be announced by the IOC in September 2013.
Two charities will benefit from the phenomenal fundraising event. The Natasha’s Steps Trust raises money for 18 year old Natasha Drake who was a very keen squash player as a child. After suffering a life-changing brain aneurysm, she is now confined to a wheelchair and has limited use of her left arm and hand. Money raised will help with her care and the difficult road ahead to recovery.
LV= SOS Kit Aid provides second hand and new sporting equipment to disadvantaged young people in the UK and oversea by collecting unwanted kit from UK schools, clubs, manufactures and individuals. Since 2011, the programme has sent £2.5 million worth of recycled kit to 20 developing countries around the world and in the UK.
Official website: www.7ContinentChallenge.com