Professional Squash Returns to the Bay
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Professional squash returns to the Bay of Plenty this month after an absence of seven years.
Devoy Squash & Fitness Centre is running a US$5000 men’s PSA (Professional Squash Association) tournament from April 28 – 1 May. Players from all over the globe will descend on New Zealand’s newest and largest club for this prestigious tournament. Entrants include players from England, USA, Australia, South Korea and Singapore as well as some of the best talent from around New Zealand.
Two local club players are also competing in the main draw. Tauranga’s own Ben Grindrod is ranked 146 in the world, and is the 4th seed, “I’m really stoked to be able to play against such quality players at my own club. To be able to come home and support this event and hopefully do well is a real highlight for me,” says Ben.
NZ’s best junior Jamie Oakley has been given a wildcard spot in the main draw, “This tournament will be my first professional event, and what better place to make your debut than in your own home town”.
The draw is headed by New Zealand’s Evan Williams who is currently ranked 89 in the world. He is the defending Tauranga Open Champion and is looking forward to returning after a positive experience last year.
The PSA matches will also be live-streamed so the event can reach a broader audience and showcase the event and sponsors. The major sponsors PAK’nSAVE and Carrus have been instrumental in allowing the club to put on such a costly event and bring such a high calibre field to the city.
Play will be held on New Zealand’s only all-glass court, which will be specially set up in the Tauranga Boys’ College Gym across the road from the main club. The all-glass court provides for 360 degree viewing and creates an amazing spectacle for the sport.
The Bay of Plenty is blessed with several high profile squash events in the next 18 months, with AIMS Games, North Island Junior Age Groups and another PSA planned for next year and the World Junior Championships which has been recently announced for Tauranga in July 2017.
Squash is set to see its profile raised significantly on the back of all the hard work and dedication of volunteers, supporters and sponsors.
Get along and watch some great Squash!
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