There's a buzz around Australian squash courts this week after the sport was recommended for inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, and the hype has already reached the capital.
The organising committee's squash announcement could see the sport at the Olympics for the first time, with cricket, lacrosse, baseball, softball and American flag football also proposed for inclusion.
"It's very exciting news," Thomas Calvert, head coach and sports development officer at Squash ACT, said.
"Squash being at the Olympics would be the pinnacle for the sport. It'd help inspire the next generation of junior players coming through to reach new levels, and it'll just raise the profile of the game.
"It's a global sport played in 185 countries, so if we can expand, it's only going to be a good thing for the sport."
World Squash is now set to meet with the International Olympic Committee and the Los Angeles Olympics organisers before the IOC's final decisions on new sports are revealed on October 16.
Squash has been contested at the Commonwealth Games since 1998, with Australia claiming 33 medals including 11 gold to date, behind only England as the sport's most successful nation at the event.
It signals a potential Olympic gold rush for Australia, should squash be greenlit for 2028 in Los Angeles.
"This is one of the most significant announcements in the history of squash," Robert Donaghue, Squash Australia chief executive, said.
"The opportunity to represent Australia at LA2028 would be an enormous honour, and for squash athletes, they can now dream of this opportunity."
Calvert said in Canberra there is a strong junior contingent that could well be Olympic champions within a few years.
"Australia has a good crop of 15 to 18-year-olds, so in five years time they're going to be at the top of their game and we're definitely a medal chance," he said.
"In Canberra things fell away a bit over COVID, but that's growing back now and we've got one or two players in the 18-19 age bracket who are top five in their age group. So they'll be right in the line for selection and medal chances in a few years."
With medals also comes greater funding assistance, which all has a trickle-down effect for future success in the sport, and should help the talent pipeline grow before the 2032 Brisbane Games.
"There'll be a lot more funding and resources put into the sport, and hopefully we can build on that for 2032 in Brisbane too," Calvert said.
"It'll also build more awareness and exposure for the sport.
"For the viewers, it's an exciting, fast-paced racquet sport. It takes a lot of athleticism, and dynamic movements, and you'll see highlights online with players diving to get to the ball."
While it was good Olympics news for squash, breakdancing is set to be scrapped after it makes its debut at the Paris Games. Meanwhile motorsports, kickboxing and karate did not make the cut for Los Angeles 2028.
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