Squash club gets competitive

Pam Lewis will compete in the B division at the MNP Nanaimo Open squash tournament Feb. 3-6 at the Nanaimo Squash Club. - Greg Sakaki photo
Pam Lewis will compete in the B division at the MNP Nanaimo Open squash tournament Feb. 3-6 at the Nanaimo Squash Club.
— image credit: Greg Sakaki photo

The MNP Nanaimo Open squash tournament will have a miner theme but major competition.

The Nanaimo Squash Club’s annual event goes next weekend (Feb. 3-6) at the Wallace Street facility.

“This is our biggest tournament of the year,” said tournament organizer Paul Tildsley. “This one actually attracts more people from outside of Nanaimo than from our club.”

This year’s theme is Mined Games – incorporating last fall’s rescue of the Chilean miners as well as Nanaimo’s coal mining history – so the players will enjoy diversions such as a costume dinner and dance on the second day.

Most of the time, though, the focus will be on the squash courts, and spectators are welcome to watch the action.

“They could drop in anytime from Friday night to Sunday afternoon and pretty much be guaranteed to see a fairly high level of squash being played,” Tildsley said.

There are usually upwards of 100 athletes entered in the various divisions – A, B, C and D flights for men and women as well as a men’s 50-plus category.

“We’re not getting the national-calibre [players] coming, but definitely one-step down from that,” Tildsley said.

He said the local competitive players have started to train more vigorously.

“I’ve been going down [to the club] daily myself and I’m just a C player,” said Tildsley. “It’s a big thing to look forward to because you also get an opportunity to play people from outside the city, and different styles.”

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