I hope everyone is managing OK in these very difficult times. Please read below the latest update about FIR World Tour tournaments as well as news about a number of different things that the FIR are doing to help pass the time at home as well as news about the launch of several new initiatives.
FIR World Tour is Cancelled until mid June 2020
After speaking with all our Tournament Directors and receiving the official advice that the current coronavirus restrictions will be in place for a minimum of another 10 to 12 weeks (and probably longer in most countries), we can confirm that all tournaments will now be cancelled until mid June 2020. Further announcements will be made in late April about the Swiss Open (25 – 27th June) and in May about the Latvia Open (10 -12 July).
So the upcoming scheduled tournaments that are now cancelled are:
Doubles World Championships, Prague 2-3 April
IWT Czech Open, Prague 4-5 April
CHA Massachusetts Open, USA 11-12 April
IWT Berlin Open 8-10 May
SWT King of Rackets, Belgium 29-31 May
The amount of work that goes into staging a world tour tournament: sponsors, hotels, transport, catering, volunteers, referees, balls and shuttles, courts, player entertainment, venue negotiations, managing entries (the list goes on and on), means the planning and execution of a tournament is months and months of work – for the tournament directors and their teams to not know if a tournament can happen is a nightmare situation and makes any real planning completely impossible. It is a highly stressful situation both for them and also for all the players.
For all these reasons, I think it’s best to provide some real clarity for everyone rather than going from day to day, week to week not knowing if certain tournaments will happen or not.
It’s also clear that we’re in a moment of time when competition and tournaments are quite rightly not the priority right now.
But we’re also determined to use this period of no tournaments and no normal training to try and achieve some positive outcomes – see below!
#TennisChallenge Goes Global, Exclusive Squash Skills Promotion, Weekly Live Quiz and a Logo Competition
We’ve been constantly brainstorming lots of ideas and ways to challenge and engage everyone during this time. We launched #TennisChallenge and it’s truly gone around the world – we’re receiving a huge response with videos coming from everywhere: from the USA to India and all over Europe…and it’s clear that we’re reaching people way beyond the Racketlon community which is fantastic! #PingPongChallenge has also just launched on Facebook and Instagram
This Wednesday at 19.00 (CET) 25th March sees the start of a new weekly Racketlon quiz live on the FIR Facebook Page with prizes for the winners. Details about this will be oublished tomorrow.
The FIR have also just made an agreement with Squash Skills : undoubtedly the best online squash coaching service out there with thousands of videos from both the best coaches and also the best players in the world – Racketlon players will be able to access the full set of Squash Skills coaching videos + exclusive films, interviews and documentaries for a big 50% discount. Full details will be published on Racketlon.net in the next 24 hours.
We have also launched a very important new creative competition in order to produce a brand new, promotional logo / design to help promote Racketlon across the globe – more details HERE
Our aim is to try and turn what is a very difficult and increasingly worrying time and use it as an opportunity where we can actually bring Racketlon awareness to whole new audiences online. So please follow the Facebook and Instagram accounts with everything we have going on there and SHARE, SHARE SHARE! We need all your tennis, squash, badminton and table tennis team-mates, coaches and training partners to learn all about Racketlon in the next few months.
Already Putting Plans in Place for the Future
We’re doing everything we can to adapt to these unprecedented times which clearly provide some serious financial and operational challenges to the FIR. We are already planning a way forward so that we can come out of this coronavirus situation (whenever that will be) and still be in a strong position as an international federation to keep developing and growing the sport we all love.
We’ve made some big steps in the last 12 months with our website, tournament and social media statistics showing that the global awareness of Racketlon is at an all-time high…and the hard work, innovations and plans we’re putting in place now mean we will be able to continue this success as soon as we come out the other side of what is a difficult time for all sport around the world.
So stay with us, keep in touch, keep telling the world about Racketlon and when we return we’ll be bigger than ever!
Duncan Stahl / FIR President