Pu­taruru hosts its first squash na­tion­als

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

The best of the best New Zealand squash play­ers will face off in Pu­taruru this month for the Na­tional Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons com­pe­ti­tion.

The Novem­ber 4 to 6 com­pe­ti­tion, which will see play­ers from eight of New Zealand’s 11 squash dis­tricts com­pet­ing, will be the first na­tional com­pe­ti­tion ever hosted by the Pu­taruru club which has been run­ning since 1975.

Sec­re­tary trea­surer Janelle Hotham, who is a keen squash player her­self, said the aim was to find the best male and fe­male play­ers from A to F level.

‘‘Each dis­trict has a Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons tour­na­ment and the win­ners of those then go through to na­tion­als which is what we are host­ing this year,’’ she said.

‘‘It has been go­ing for three years now and still needs a lot of sup­port from the dis­tricts to get play­ers here but we are very ex­cited to be host­ing it and it will be the first time we have ever hosted a na­tional event. It is awe­some.’’

Hotham said en­tries are high for the event with sev­eral lo­cal play­ers also par­tic­i­pat­ing in­clud­ing Pu­taruru B grade player Ma­ree Sav­age, C grade player Am­ber Brown, D grade play­ers Kim Saun­ders, Alan Creery, and Brad Karl, and E grade player Grant Mckin­non. Toko­roa A grade player Aleisha Watene will also be tak­ing part.

‘‘We have got 83 en­tries which is huge for us as usu­ally at our nor­mal tour­na­ments we have around 40 maybe so it is over dou­ble,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re def­i­nitely look­ing for­ward to it but there is a lot of or­gan­is­ing to be done. We have to do up all the draws and then there are some peo­ple who want to change game times and all that sort of thing.’’

‘‘We also have to en­sure we have enough court con­trol and that peo­ple are in the bar and kitchen so there is de­cent food.’’

‘‘It’s all be­ing run by vol­un­teers so it’s re­ally good though,’’ she said.

She said while the club is host­ing the over­all com­pe­ti­tion, the Toko­roa Squash Club will be host­ing some of the Fri­day night games to en­sure they fin­ish at a rea­son­able time.

‘‘There will be 130 matches over the three days start­ing at 5pm on the Fri­day and fin­ish­ing at 3pm on the Sun­day after the fi­nals,’’ she said.

From left Pu­taruru Na­tional Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons squash com­peti­tors Grant Mckin­non, Alan Creery, Ma­ree Sav­age, Brad Karl, and Am­ber Brown.

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