GEORGE SQUASH NEWS - Squash's epithet "the beautiful game" proved to be true during the Wilderness Hotel Doubles Tournament last weekend, 28 to 30 May.
Firstly, because it was the first squash tournament generously sponsored and hosted by the new hotel owners. Both being veteran squash players and having enjoyed the game for many years, they wanted to give something back to the sport, says Stan Voges, one of the organisers.
Participants could play and stay at the Wilderness Hotel, making it a very affordable tournament. The prizes and lucky draw were also sponsored by the owners.
But the beauty of the game was also evident in that it brought great fun and camaraderie among a group of strangers. With players and guests coming from as far as Cape Town, Bonnievale and even Pretoria, the enjoyment, battle, and sweat which are part of the game of squash, quickly created a great spirit.
The unique format of the tournament aided this camaraderie. Normally one enters a doubles tournament with a partner with whom you play throughout. For the Wilderness Hotel Doubles Tournament you could enter as an individual.
The players were then put into groups and round robin games were played within the groups, but each game was played with a different partner. That meant that of the nine matches played over the weekend, eight were with different partners.
From an organising point of view the tournament was a huge success. At the prize-giving everybody insisted that it should become an annual event.
From a tourism point of view, it also proved beneficial. "All thanks to Covid, I guess," says Charl Rheede, Wilderness Hotel manager. "Our squash court has always been there for the benefit of our quests. But with fewer quests lately because of Covid, we realised we needed to be innovative in attracting more clients. Now with this tournament being so successful, we will definitely do it again."
The winners in the four sections were:
Gerhard Steyn (Gansbaai), Stan Voges (Bredasdorp), Frikkie Orban (Mossel Bay), and Theo van der Lingen (Pretoria).
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