Squash finally comes of age

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Strauss Lunyangwe

Windhoek-The 15th edition of the annual Nashua Wanderers Squash Open recently delivered in all aspects with excitement, living up to the hype until the final stages.

The entry draw attracted the highest number of participants in recent history, with 80 players and 160 matches played over three days. In 2015, the tourney hosted 48 players and has since grown to 64 last year.

With the upgraded rankings system that has been placed in national squash, the tourney attracted eight out of the top 10 players in the country.

Surprisingly this year the most significant part of the event was the number of juniors, ladies and beginners that took part and did exceptionally well.

Namibia’s number one squash player Andrew Forrest defeated Cliffie de Witt 3-0, thereby taking the Wanderers Nashua Open Cup. Forrest felt honoured to play in the competition and went all the way to claim top honours in the prestigious tourney.

’’My next sight will be on the Vision Consulting tourney and the Amstel Light Open to be hosted at Wanderers pretty soon,” he added.

The draw was done in mixed format, where both men and ladies played against each other in the same draw with all particpants placed in pools of players with similar ranking points and the same level of play.

Over the last year, Wanderers Squash Club has worked hard to grow the sport, including awareness about the game.

The club hosted a junior’s tourney at the end of January this year with the ultimate aim to encourage new juniors to make squash their preferred sport. The event was a major success and certainly opened lots of eyes for prospective new squash players.

End of March saw the club hosting the first ever Ladies Open Day, with the aim of growing the game amongst female players. The gathering attracted 35 ladies who had not played the game before.

Since then, a total of 17 ladies entered the Nashua Wanderers Open, proving that the time spent to teach women about the game was worth the candle.

The chairman of Wanderers Squash Club, Steven Berry, said this was by far the biggest draw ever in Namibian squash tourney history.

‘’It is even bigger than the last two years, and it just shows how locals are realising the importance of exercise and having a healthy lifestyle.

“Squash has been rated as the healthiest sport in the world for the last two years by Forbes Magazine, and to go along with that, there are few sports as fun as squash,” said Berry.

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