Barry bags gold again

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT - Dane Lilling­stone dane.lilling­stone@ whit­sun­day­times.com.au

SQUASH: Just be­cause you start some­thing late in life, doesn’t mean you can’t mas­ter it.

Just ask Can­non­vale’s Barry Hall, who re­cently re­turned from the Great Bar­rier Reef Mas­ters Games in Cairns with a gold medal.

Hall first picked up a squash rac­quet at the age of 36 and now at 72 he’s got a stack of tro­phies and medals for play­ing the sport, in­clud­ing be­ing con­sis­tently ranked in the top 10 in Aus­tralia for his age group.

“A friend took me along to a squash court and taught me how to play. I took to it like a duck to wa­ter and I’ve been play­ing ever since,” the New Zealand na­tive said.

Af­ter en­ter­ing a novice com­pe­ti­tion and win­ning it in the first year, he hasn’t looked back.

In Cairns he won all of his matches in the 70–74 divi­sion on his way to de­fend­ing the same gold medal he won at the last games in 2015.

He’s pre­vi­ously won com­pe­ti­tions in Mel­bourne, Rock­hamp­ton and has played in open di­vi­sions be­fore, some­times with peo­ple as young as 16.

Hall has his eyes set on the Aus­tralian Na­tional Mas­ters in Bal­larat in Septem­ber this year.

“I’ve al­ready got my hol­i­days booked,” he said.

“I want to get to num­ber one.”

Ad­mit­ting he still does an hour of gym work a day, what keeps him com­ing back?

“I love the game and it keeps me healthy,” he said.

PHOTO: DANE LILLING­STONE

SMASH­ING IT: Squash player Barry Hall re­cently re­turned from the Great Bar­rier Reef Mas­ters Games in Cairns with a gold medal.

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