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Squash still in a pickle at Level 3

Wairarapa’s squash players are itching to get back on court. PHOTO/FILE

SQUASH

CHRIS COGDALE
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Wairarapa squash clubs have taken a big hit with some of the region’s biggest tournaments falling victim to the covid-19 restrictions.

Squash remains off the agenda for players despite the move to Level 3 and that is having a big impact on clubs and players.

The Masterton Squash Club have cancelled their two biggest tournaments – the Mad Hatters tournament in late March, and the Farriers Masterton Open, which was scheduled for last weekend.

Club captain Hayley Wilton said the Mad Hatters was the club’s big fundraiser and the open tournament attracted some of Wellington’s top players.

“It mucks up the whole calendar. We don’t know what the season will look like when we get back under way,” she said.

“We’ll probably just focus on our club and getting our members back into the game.

“We’ve sent out a survey to our members and the main reason they want to get back playing is fitness.

“We normally get about 85 to 90 members on Thursday night club nights.

“We’re keeping in contact with them. When we get back playing, we might have to split the club nights between Thursday and maybe Saturday afternoon.”

The Red Star Squash Club’s open tournament, planned for May 15-16, has also been cancelled.

Red Star president Greg Cottle said it’s a big blow for the club.

“We get up to 100 players and the bulk of them are from out of town, and it’s a big fundraiser for us,” he said.

“Wellington Squash will jiggle things around though and the Wairarapa Junior Open will be rescheduled.”

Cottle said that the club would also concentrate on their members when the restrictions are lifted.

“One of our committee did a great job recruiting 22 new members, so we’ll get them up and playing. Everyone’s chomping at the bit to get back on the court.”

Masterton have five teams and Red Star have seven teams who play in the Wellington interclub competition, which was due to start last week, but was postponed indefinitely.

Wilton and Cottle expected a shortened competition will be held once the season’s programme is adjusted.

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