New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) The World Squash Federation is mourning the death of former WSF President Susie Simcock. It was in October 1996 that the New Zealander was elected the WSF's first, and only, woman President — succeeding HRH Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia, under whom she had served as Vice-President for the previous seven years. On completing her maximum term of office in October 2002, Simcock was appointed Emeritus President.
She represented New Zealand Universities in Athletics and Hockey and reached a national ranking of eight at Squash. An Executive Member of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Simcock was a Governor of the New Zealand Sports Foundation and became the first woman ever to be elected as a Member of the Council of the General Assembly of International Sports Federations (GAISF).
Simcock's work and contribution for women in sport was recognised by the International Olympic Committee in 2010 when she received the IOC Women in Sport Award.
“Susie was a pioneer in the world of sport and especially in squash,” said WSF President Jacques Fontaine. “As the first female president of the WSF she paved the way towards establishing squash as one of the main racket sports in the world.
“It is desperately sad to hear of her passing – but the contribution she made to our sport will live on for ever.”
In a message to his successor on hearing the news of her diagnosis of liver cancer, Tunku Imran wrote: “I enjoyed every moment of my time in WSF – and you were so much to do with it. I was so delighted when you came on board because of your wise counsel and of course friendship. The reforms we made were huge when we look back. The only regret is that we failed the Olympic bid. I was delighted when you became the first woman President.”
Squash legend Jahangir Khan, the former world No.1 who succeeded Simcock as WSF President, said: “I always admired Susie. She was always very helpful to me and had boundless energy — in fact I often found it difficult to keep up with her! I have met many women in the world of international sport and she was totally different. She had a wonderful personality and lots of people learnt a lot from her.
“It was Susie who persuaded me to join the WSF board and I am delighted that she did. She was so passionate for all sport, and particularly squash. The respect she had around the world from other international federations was clear to see.”