The “SA Nationals” have come and gone with some great squash as usual under a brand new sponsor in the shape of Growthpoint Properties. They have come to support South African Squash to the tune of R½m spread across 3 tournaments, namely the SA Nationals, Jarvis Cup and the resurrected SA Open. The SA Nationals stretches over a week of qualifying and knock out squash culminating in the finals on Friday night on our Match Court. First-up was the Ladies finalists, Milnay Louw (1 Seed) against Alex Fuller (2nd Seed), with Milnay dominating the match. Then the Men’s final with two “old stagers”, namely Rodney Durbach and Gary Wheadon, with the younger man, Gary taking the title.
Then there was a break of one week while everyone made their way to Pretoria for the Annual Inter-Provincial Jarvis Cup, which is the pinnacle of squash in SA with each Province being allowed one imported player which saw a number of highly rated Egyptians and one New Zealander taking-on our local talent. South African Country Districts took the men’s prize for the first time ever.
The day after Jarvis, two of the Egyptian players, Farres Dessouky & Mohammed El Sherbini came to Wanderers to conduct some coaching clinics for our youngsters and have a full-on competitive exhibition match against each other. The level of squash, speed and fitness these two guys displayed was amazing and served as a real incentive to all the youngsters who witnessed the match.
With hardly any time to catch our breath, two days later, the SA Open started with knockout squash for the whole week. The SA Open hadn’t been staged since 1995 and with the prize money set at R200k, the serious players shook-off their aches & pains from Jarvis, and did battle for the pot of gold. Christo Potgeiter, who was already on a high from being part of the victorious Country Districts Jarvis team, took-on Kelvin Ndlovu from Zambia in the final which Christo won. In the Ladies’ final, it was a repeat of the SA Nationals final with the 1 & 2 seeds head to head. This time however, it was Alex Fuller who got the better of Milnay Louw in a thrilling match.
OK, so now we take a break before we embark on our internal tournaments. Coming up will be the Annual Chamber Challenge, which takes place on a home and away basis, and this year is at home. We always coincide with “World Squash Day” which is on the 14th October. The floating trophy lies with us from last year, but I’m sure the Chamber will be anxious to wrest it back this year. The Annual Century Doubles Open will also be held in October where the doubles partnership has to add-up to 100 years. Then, at the end of November, we hold the “Movember” tournament where male players should have spent the whole month without shaving in support of men’s cancer relief. Finally, we will hold a Summer League tournament to lead us up to the Xmas holidays and a well earned rest.
More squash news next month…….watch this space.
Yours in Squash, Dave Grant