Dear Racquetball Friends,
I'd like to provide this end-of-year update on the International development of racquetball since we last met.
The 2018 World Seniors Racquetball Championships was extremely successful with 17 countries competing. A donation in the amount of $10,000 was made towards the Olympic Dream and international enhancement of our sport.
The XXX IRF World Junior Championships were held at La Loma Centro Deportivo in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, featuring 200 young athletes from 12 countries. It was highly successful.
New courts are being built in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Peru.
The 2019 World Junior Racquetball Championships were awarded to Costa Rica and the City of San José. This event has the full support of the Costa Rica National Olympic Committee, the Government of Costa Rica, the Sports Authority of Costa Rica as well as the city of San José. Four new courts will be built to supplement the existing four courts at the venue.
In Guatemala, new courts are all but finished, bringing 10 beautiful glass courts to support the development of racquetball. We anticipate that this excellent venue will host many International and regional events in the future.
The City of Barranquilla, Colombia, was awarded the 2019 Pan American Racquetball Championships to be held Easter week in April. The four-court facility is part of the legacy from the Central American Caribbean Games held this year. This event is the final qualifying event for the Pan American Games to be held in July 2019 in Lima, Peru.
Final arrangements have been made for racquetball's inclusion as a full medal sport in the 2019 Pan American Games Lima. Four new glass courts, one of which is four-wall glass, will be built for the competition. Sixty athletes will qualify via the Pan American Racquetball Championships as mentioned above.
A planning meeting was held in October for the sports to be competed in The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Racquetball will have 32 athletes in singles. A four-wall glass court will be brought to Birmingham for the competition to be held in July of 2021. The IOC will be in attendance to evaluate Racquetball for future Olympic Programs.
We hope you find this news exciting and encouraging, and we offer our heartfelt thanks for your continued support and commitment to Racquetball. I know you have all heard this many times, but without your support, the IRF cannot continue to develop racquetball towards the Olympic Program.
As 2018 comes to a close, we ask each of you to please consider a tax-deductible donation to the International Racquetball Federation and/or perhaps let your racquetball colleagues know of this year-end appeal. Donations can be made on our website at www.internationalracquetball.com or sent to our head office at 1631 Mesa Avenue, Suite A-1, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, USA.
Luke St. Onge
International Racquetball Federation
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