Victoria Squash

Squash & Racquetball Victoria E-Newsletter Volume 9  Issue 11

Squash & Racquetball Victoria E-Newsletter Volume 9 Issue 11

24/11/2017, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 24945703
Squash & Racquetball Victoria E-Newsletter
Volume 9  Issue 11
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Welcome to the November edition of the Thin Red Line!

We begin this edition of the Thin Red Line by acknowledging former S&RV President Peta Murphy, who was recognised for her significant contribution to promoting female participation within squash and racquetball at the 2017 Women in Sport Breakfast late last month.

Peta was one of ten nominees to receive the acknowledgement, and on behalf of the Victorian squash and racquetball community we congratulate Peta on her much deserved honour! You can hear from Peta in the Thin Red Line Podcast which can be found below.

Continuing on with the acknowledgements, congratulations to all the grade champions from both the Victorian Grand Prix Squash and Racquetball Circuits which each hosted their final tournaments for 2017 earlier this month. Read more about each of the season-deciding events in the 'Around the Courts' section below.

The Target 5000 campaign is still continuing and we're still encouraging clubs and centres to get out there and sign up as many players as they can, whether they be social, regular or occasional participants.

Everyone who has played, is playing, wants to play in future or has enjoyed playing in the past are encouraged to register as a supporter of Squash and Racquetball for as little as $2, so keep spreading the message far and wide!

Finally, S&RV members are advised that the S&RV AGM will be held on Saturday February 17, 2018 at the South Melbourne Town Hall from 10:00am.

Following the AGM, S&RV will host a Club Forum for all affiliated clubs/venues and associations featuring presentations and workshops. The forum is designed to assist clubs with opportunities available through S&RV, Squash Australia and our partner businesses plus provide practical examples and templates to aid with grants and community profile. This is not to be missed!

Remember, contributions to the THIN RED LINE are always welcome! If you have any news about your club, venue, region, etc. that you would like included in the newsletter, please let us know -


Westerfolds player honoured by Squash South Australia

Westerfolds’ Racquetball player Peter Walters was recently awarded a Squash and Racquetball Service Award by Squash South Australia.  READ MORE...


Peta Murphy recognised at 2017 Women in Sport Breakfast

Squash & Racquetball Victoria was a partner in the 2017 Women in Sport Breakfast organised through Gymnastic Victoria and held at the RACV Club on Tuesday. READ MORE...


State Referee & Child Safe Standards Certificates

Congratulations to Anthony Morris who attained State Referee level status last month and was presented with his certificate at the recent Referees Meet & Greet. READ MORE...


Christine Nunn joins Target 5000 campaign!

Join PSA Women's World Tour pro Christine Nunn in getting behind #TARGET5000 - a campaign aiming to get 5,000 registered supporters of squash and racquetball in Victoria by mid December. READ MORE...


Nominate your local sporting hero and win

Inside Sport is giving back to the unsung heroes of Australian sport by offering $10,000 in prizes through the 2018 Sportscover Clubbies Awards. READ MORE...


La Trobe University’s Centre for Sport & Social Impact Survey Results

Question: How do our players see the sports of squash and racquetball? Earlier this year, we asked you… READ MORE...


Nominations now open for 2018-2020 S&RV Board Directors

The 2018 Squash & Racquetball Victoria AGM will be held on Saturday February 17, 2018 at the South Melbourne Town Hall, commencing at 10.00am. READ MORE...

Victorian Grand Prix Squash Circuit champions crowned at Squash Logic Open

Corio Squash Club has fallen just short of a remarkable clean sweep of the 2017 Victorian Grand Prix Squash Circuit section titles following the season’s final tournament, the 2017 Squash Logic Open. READ MORE...


2017 BIG4 Whiters Lakes Classic Review

The 25th Anniversary of the BIG4 WHITERS Lakes Classic was played out at the Lakes Squash & Movie Theatre, and was highlighted by the magnificent Men’s Open Final. READ MORE...


Mount Waverley Primary School sweeps pool at 2017 Primary Schools Racquetball Competition

Mount Waverley Primary School has claimed an impressive double at the 2017 Primary Schools Racquetball Competition State Finals held last Friday.  READ MORE...


2017 Country Individual Championships Results

The 2017 Country Individual Championships were successfully held at the Bendigo Squash Centre on the weekend of October 20-21.  READ MORE...


Uni Cup fast approaching!

University battle lines have been drawn in the lead up to the 2017 University Cup Squash event to be held at La Trobe University on Saturday November 25. READ MORE...


Congratulations to former S&RV President Peta Murphy, who was recognised for her significant contribution to promoting female participation within squash and racquetball at the 2017 Women in Sport Breakfast late last month.

Check out our chat with Peta HERE!

Uni Cup

Xmas Cup
Squash & Racquetball Victoria E-Newsletter Volume 8  Issue 10

Squash & Racquetball Victoria E-Newsletter Volume 8 Issue 10

28/10/2016, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 19950817
Squash & Racquetball Victoria E-Newsletter
Volume 8  Issue 10
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Welcome to the October edition of the Thin Red Line!

On the racquetball scene, the month was a very successful one for Victoria, with the state taking home no less than seven individual national titles from the Australian Open Racquetball Championships.

Congratulations to Cam White (Men's Open), Sarah Fitz-Gerald (Women's Open), Alex Baines (A Grade), Charlie Fatouros (B Grade), Daniel Chu (C Grade), Nicola Baines (E Grade) and Gabby Baines (Junior Girls) on their victories in their respective categories.

Dromana hosted another successful edition of the Victorian Country Individual Championships, and you can recap the results of that tournament in the 'Around the Courts' section below.

As we move towards the end of 2016, a number of our major year-long tournaments will begin to wind up.

November will see the final events of both the Victorian Grand Prix Squash and Racquetball Circuits take place next weekend (November 5-6), and we look forward to crowning the 2016 champions for each.

On the coaching front, the Squash Coaching Foundation Course is now available to be completed via the online portal. For more information, head to

Finally, make sure you check out the News Desk section below to find out more information on the New Child Safe Standards and S&RV Volunteer Award Nominations.

Remember, contributions to the THIN RED LINE are always welcome! If you have any news about your club, venue, region, etc. that you would like included in the newsletter, please let us know -

MS 24 Hour Mega Squash & Racquetball now live!

Registrations for the 2017 MS 24 Hour Squash & Racquetball event to be held on May 6-7, 2017 at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre are now open! READ MORE...
New Child Safe Standards

In April 2012, the Victorian government initiated an inquiry into the handling of child abuse allegations within religious and other non-government organisations. READ MORE...
Squash & Racquetball Victoria Volunteer Award nominations open

In 2011, Squash & Racquetball Victoria initiated the Squash & Racquetball Victoria Volunteer Awards. READ MORE...
Squash and racquetball prove a hit at Year 7 Sports Expo

Over 100 Year 7 girls have been introduced to squash and racquetball at the Year 7 Sports Expo held earlier this month. READ MORE...
Annual Awards Night Nominations are now open

Squash Australia has decided to open nominations for the 2017 Squash Australia Annual Awards Night which will be held in Townsville on Saturday the 25th of March, 2017. READ MORE...
All on the line at the Squash Logic Open

Victorian titles will be on the line when the 2016 Victorian Grand Prix Squash Circuit reaches its climax at the Squash Logic Open on November 5-6. READ MORE...
2016 BIG4 Whiters Holiday Village Lakes Classic Racquetball Championships entries open

Squash & Racquetball Victoria (S&RV) would like to advise that entries for the 2016 Lakes Classic on November 5 & 6 are open. READ MORE...
First instalment of Leadership Development Course completed

All stakeholders of the Squash Australia leadership team converged on Canberra and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) this week for the first of the three residential workshops facilitated by Melbourne School. READ MORE...

Australian Junior Championships Wrap: Victorian juniors excel on national stage

The future of Victorian squash looks to be in good hands following a promising Australian Junior Squash Championships campaign in Sydney. READ MORE...
Champions crowned at the Victorian Country Individual Squash Championships

Goulburn Valley’s Nathan Lindner has taken out the Open Division at the 2016 Victorian Country Individual Squash Championships held in Dromana earlier this month. READ MORE...
Record numbers for Australian Open Racquetball

The Australian Open is the biggest event for Racquetball in Australia, and with the number of events at the Championships, it isn’t hard to understand why! READ MORE...
Victorian Primary Schools Racquetball Team Competition Wrap

Mount Waverley Primary School completed a clean sweep at the 2016 Victorian Primary Schools Racquetball Team Competition State Finals held last Friday. READ MORE...
Fitz-Gerald picks up third Masters title

Former Australian world number one, Sarah Fitz-Gerald, has won her third World Masters trophy, overcoming injury to take the women’s over 45 crown at the World Masters Squash Championships in Johannesburg. READ MORE...
Get active this spring with the Hits & Giggles squash program!

Get active this spring with the Hits & Giggles squash program!

06/10/2016, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 19657598

Get active this spring with the Hits & Giggles squash program!

Women looking to engage in an active lifestyle in a fun and social environment are encouraged to register for Squash & Racquetball Victoria’s Hits & Giggles program this month!

Run over six weeks, the Hits & Giggles program introduces women and girls to the sport of squash, allowing them to work on skills and fitness in a supportive and judgement-free environment, while boosting their self-confidence and self-esteem with a group of like-minded women.

A survey of previous Hits & Giggles participants found that 84% of women experienced a more physically active lifestyle following on from the program, with the majority of them still have a weekly hit of squash.
An affordable program at only $60.00 for six one-hour sessions, the fourth round of Hits & Giggles for 2016 will see eight programs run at a number of venues across Victoria:

Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre (MSAC)
-MONDAYS, 6:00pm - 7:00pm (Beginner) with Claudia - commencing October 17, 2016.

-THURSDAYS, 6:00pm- 7:00pm (Intermediate) with Claudia - commencing October 20, 2016

-THURSDAYS, 7:00pm- 8:00pm (Advanced PLUS) with Claudia – commencing October 20, 2016
-THURSDAYS, 8:00pm- 9:00pm (Advanced) with Barb - commencing October 20, 2016

Diamond Valley Sports & Fitness Centre (Greensborough)       
-MONDAYS ,10:30am - 11:30am (Beginner) with Lee-Anne - commencing October 17, 2016
Horsham Squash Club
-THURSDAYS, 7:00 - 8:00pm with Launa - commencing October 20, 2016  

Melbourne University Squash Club
-SATURDAYS, 11.00am - 12.00pm (Advanced PLUS) with David - commencing October 15, 2016REGISTER
-SATURDAYS, 12.00pm - 1.00pm (Beginner/Intermediate) with David - commencing October 15, 2016 

Registrations for Round 4 programs close on Friday October 14, so click here to secure your place!
For more information on the Hits & Giggles program, contact Squash & Racquetball Victoria Competition Administrator Fiona Smyth via email, or head to

Jess Graham wins Australian Under 19 Girls title

Jess Graham wins Australian Under 19 Girls title

28/09/2016, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 19561584

Jess Graham wins Australian Under 19 Girls title

Victorian Jess Graham has stamped herself as one of the up-and-coming stars in Australian squash by securing the national Under 19 Girls title on the final day of the Australian Junior Squash Championships individual tournament in Sydney.

Graham, who represented Australia at the World Junior Championships in Poland in August, claimed the title after winning a gruelling five-game encounter with South Australian 3-4 seed, Lauren Aspinall.

After a slow start which saw her lose the first game, Graham responded to take out the second to get the match back on an even keel. 

Aspinall reclaimed the advantage when she grabbed the third, but Graham dug deep in the final two games to eventually secure a hard-fought 6-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-3 victory in 40 minutes.

The 17-year-old's victory was the highlight of a fantastic day for the Victorian Junior State Team, which also saw Dylan Molinaro compete in the Under 15 Boys final.

The 5-8 seeded Molinaro entered the decider against second seed Wesley Dwyer in impressive form, following imposing wins in his quarter-final and semi-final clashes against top seed Remi Young and 3-4 seed Haani Qureshi respectively.

In yet another tough five-game match, Molinaro's winning streak looked set to continue when he burst out of the blocks to take the first two games, before Dyer found his groove to win the next three and take out a 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 victory.

The Victorian Junior State Team's attention now turns to the teams event at the Australian Junior Squash Championship, which will begin on Thursday September 29 and run through to Sunday October 2.

For more results from the final day of the individual event at the Australian Junior Squash Championships, click here.

Image above: Jess Graham (middle) with her Under 19 Girls national title (Image Credit: John Lockton).

Vic Captains ready to lead the way

Vic Captains ready to lead the way

23/09/2016, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 19499469


Vic Captains ready to lead the way

The Victorian Squash Junior State Team has landed Sydney today, ahead of competition at the 2016 Australian Junior Championships.
The event will run for nine days – kicking off on Saturday (24th) at Thornleigh Squash Centre in New South Wales, and will feature both individual events and a Team Series.
Spearheading the assault for the Victorian Team will be recently appointed 17-year old Team Captains, Courtney Grinham and Josh Boyte.
Speaking after touching down with the squad in Sydney, both Grinham and Boyte expressed their excitement at being given the captaincy roles.
“It’s pretty exciting, to lead this brilliant team to victory would be amazing,” Grinham said.
“We are a good bunch of kids and I am looking forward to leading them.”
“It’s very humbiling – I am very honoured to be given the captaincy,” Boyte added.
“I am very proud just to be part of the team and to be captain is fantastic.”
Both Grinham and Boyte will be leading representative squads for the first time, and together with the other team members have been working hard over a long period of time to be ready for the tournament.
“The last year and a half I have been working towards getting in the state team, planning ahead with finances and getting ready and prepped physically,” Grinham said.
“There has been a lot of dedication that has gone into it and it has set me up for the year.
“We have been attending camps and doing a number of team building activities just to get used to each other.
“We have been able to have a good time, but at the same time it has been pretty serious in terms of knowing what we want to get out of it and what we want to achieve.”
Looking back at the lead-up to the tournament, Boyte echoed Grinham’s sentiments.
“For me it’s been really good – I have been preparing for this all year, it has been a good lead up to the event and the training has all been pretty good – I’m ready for it,” he said.
“We have been doing a whole bunch of team-building exercises and leadership drills at camps that we have been attending.
“The attitude of everyone has been really good and we have high hopes this year of doing really well.”
Grinham believes that the squad representing Victoria has the ability to do very well at the tournament, and is confident that they can perform well.
“I am pretty confident – we have talked throughout the year about what we want to achieve and how we get there.
“So I am just hoping that we do our best and actually get better results than we have in the past.”
Results throughout the course of the event will be posted via the Squash Australia website with updates on the Victorian Team and players to come

Andrewartha, Fitz-Gerald take out the spoils at Ballarat Open Racquetball Championships

Andrewartha, Fitz-Gerald take out the spoils at Ballarat Open Racquetball Championships

21/09/2016, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 19472872

Andrewartha, Fitz-Gerald take out the spoils at Ballarat Open Racquetball Championships

Squash & Racquetball Victoria Legend Paul Vear provides us with a comprehensive recap of all the action from the 2016 Ballarat Open Racquetball Championships on September 10-11.


Steve Andrewartha claiming his fourth Victorian Grand Prix Men’s Open title on the trot, local Ballarat players taking out seven of the thirteen titles on offer and a 34% increase in entry numbers over the 2015 event (including 19 Grand Prix debutants) all headlined the penultimate Victorian Racquetball Grand Prix Tournament Circuit event for the year, the Ballarat Open Championships.



Men's Open:  Over the previous five years, Cam White (2011, 2014 and 2015) and Garry Pedersen (2012 and 2013) have owned this title.

In 2016 however, it is Dromana’s Steve Andrewartha who has  won all but one Victorian GP Men’s Open title this year to scorch to an unbeatable lead of 1935 points in the Men’s Open GP Champion’s title. 
So when the pointy end of the Ballarat Open was reached this year, it was another final face off between Andrewartha and Geelong's second-seeded Peter French, whom he had defeated in both the Wangaratta and Victorian Opens earlier this year. In what was a high class finale, punctuated by many long rallies containing an incredible range of shots and returns, it was Andrewartha who prevailed, 21/11, 21/19.

In their respective semi-finals, Andrewartha defeated his doubles partner Chris England, 21/13, 21/17, with French overpowering Tasmanian Matt Creely, 21/5, 21/13, after Creely had ousted third-seeded Garry Pedersen in a marathon three game quarter final, 16/21, 21/16, 21/18.


Women's Open:  This event saw the return of the Queen of Australian Racquetball Sarah Fitz-Gerald, who swapped her Court Tech squash court building tools for a racquetball racquet for the first time since the ESRA Open held in February this year.

With Fitz-Gerald at prohibitive odds to win the event, the greatest interest focused on who was going to claim the runners-up booty. That ended up being 2016 Tasmanian Women’s Open winner and South Australian Open runner-up Kristel Proctor, who finally succumbed to Fitz-Gerald, 8/21, 12/21.

In their respective semi finals, Fitz-Gerald defeated South Australia’s Karin Gaard, 21/12, 21/12, with Proctor overcoming Wodonga’s third seeded Laura Shobbrook, 21/12, 22/20.


A Grade: Although top seeded Chris Rollauer was a pronounced favourite, the A Grade field contained several players bordering on Open status.

Prior to reaching the final, Rollauer had to survive a hectic three games against Ballarat’s Anthony Bosner (22/20, 17/21, 21/12), then overcome Wodonga’s seventeen-year-old Mitchell Nero, 21/12, 21/17.

In the bottom half of the draw, Ballarat’s Matt Squire proved to be the surprise packet of the event when he took out three seeded players, including Wangaratta’s second-seeded Dean Milligan, 21/9, 21/12.

In the final, Squire seized early control which he never relinquished, taking it out 21/11, 21/13 over Rollauer.


B Grade: Rarely does Corio stalwart Adam Lander miss reaching the pointy end of a B Grade event, but former world deaf squash champion Paul Walters had other ideas in their quarter-final clash.

Recovering from a game down to take the second in a nail biter, Walters overpowerered Lander in the decider 21/9.
Walters then went on to claim the scalp of fourth-seeded John Phillips, 21/17, 21/12, to reach his first B Grade GP final.

Meanwhile, 2016 Victorian Open B Grade champion Dave Whan was putting the blowtorch to his opponents in the bottom half of the draw, including Ballarat’s seventh-seeded Mandy Simpson and Mulgrave’s third-seeded Lance Cowan - downing both in straight games.

South Australian Whan then made it a Victorian GP Circuit running double when he overcame the 'never say die' Walters, 21/9, 21/12 in the final.


C Grade: When the judge called a halt to proceedings for this event, Ballarat’s Blake Caspersz had well and truly earnt the title of ‘Marathon Man’.

Caspersz survived four intense, action packed rounds, including a gut busting win over Warrnambool’s GP debutant Simon Gunner in the final, 21/16, 19/21, 21/15.

In the semis, Caspersz overcame Warrnambool’s Peter Molan, 22/21, 21/17, with Gunner overpowering Ballarat’s fourth-seeded Kale Marnica, 21/17, 21/14.


D Grade: 2015 Ballarat D Grade Plate winner Marg Taylor stepped up a few notches this year to capture the title over Geelong Open D Grade runner-up Simon Jackson, 21/7, 21/19.

In their respective semi-finals, Taylor came from a game down to take out Corio’s top seeded Ben Bell, 17/21, 21/13, 21/15, with Jackson surviving a titanic struggle over Warrnambool’s Gerard Hall, 21/19, 14/21, 21/17.


E Grade: The E Grade field contained five exuberant youngsters including two thirteen-year-olds who eventually reached the finale; Ballarat’s Mitchell Harrison and Corio’s Brayden Webber.

Harrison took out the final 21/11, 21/7, which made it two GP titles for him following his F Grade win last year.

In their semi-finals, Harrison defeated Corio’s Anthony Morgan, 21/8, 21/6, with Webber hanging on against Corio’s Jackson Lander-Mitchell, 21/11, 22/20.


Junior Boys Under 13: This event was won by Ballarat’s Jordan Humphries, who defeated another local Tristan Roberts in the final 21/0, 21/5, which provided the host club with five of the eight singles titles on offer.



Grade Winner Runner-Up
Men’s Open  Steve Andrewartha  Peter French
Women’s Open Sarah Fitz-Gerald Kristel Proctor
        A Grade         Matt Squire  Chris Rollauer
B Grade David Whan Peter Walters
C Grade Blake Caspesz Simon Gunner
     D Grade      Marg Taylor Simon Jackson
    E Grade     Mitchell Harrison Brayden Webber
Junior Boys Jordan Humphries Tristan Roberts
Grade                      Winner                                Runners-Up
Open                       England/Andrewartha         Edgley/Adams               
A                                  Snibson/Anwyl                  Nero/Whan       
B                                  Phillips/Lander                 Boulton/Hain          
C                                     Smits/Fry                       Collins/Nunn        
D                               Bell/Lander-Mitchell           King/Rawlings        
E                                 Harrison/Nolan                Adams/Gladman



Queen of Australian racquetball returns for Ballarat Open

Queen of Australian racquetball returns for Ballarat Open

08/09/2016, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 19310200

Queen of Australian racquetball returns for Ballarat Open

Squash & Racquetball Victoria Legend Paul Vear provides us with a comprehensive preview of the 2016 Ballarat Open Racquetball Championships to take place on September 10-11.


The third-longest running racquetball tournament in Australia, the Ballarat Open will hold its 32nd edition this weekend at the Ballarat Squash and Racquetball Centre in Wendouree.

117 aspirants from across Australia will be vying for the booty on offer, plus it will be their final hit out prior to the pinnacle event of the year, the 2016 Commercial Club Albury Australian Open Championships to be held in Albury/Wodonga on October 14-16.  

Although the Men’s Open will be without fourteen-time Australian Open champion Cam White who is currently preparing for the Australian Open in Thailand, the event has attracted all of the other top ten Victorian Grand Prix Men’s Open players.

2016 Wangaratta, Geelong and Victorian Open winner Steve Andrewartha brings strong form into the Ballarat event, and is seeded to meet Victorian ranked number two and nationally ranked number three Peter French in Saturday’s final.

Andrewartha is at the peak of his career being on top of both the National and Victorian Men’s Open Grand Prix rankings, and it will take a herculean effort to dethrone him from at least the top of the Victorian rankings this year.

The high quality field also comprises of injury plagued Garry Pedersen, a winner of this event in 2012 and 2013 and runner-up to White in the past two years. Andrewartha's Dromana stablemate, Chris England, who was runner-up to Pedersen in this year’s ESRA Open, is likely to feature in the pointy end of the tournament, as are top Tasmanian duo Leigh Mitchell and Matt Creely, who are also the current Australian Open Doubles Champions.

This event sees the return of seven-time national racquetball champion and five-time world open squash champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald, who has downed tools from building squash courts across the country and will start as favourite to annex another Women’s Open crown.

Fitz-Gerald’s stiffest opposition will come from 2016 Tasmanian Women’s Open champion and South Australian Open runner-up Kristel Proctor, 2016 Victorian and Tasmanian finalist Wodonga’s Laura Shobbrook, plus fourth seeded South Australian Karin Gaard, who eventually finished a very close fourth in this year’s South Australian Open.

With only one more Victorian Grand Prix Tournament Circuit event to be conducted this year (the Lakes Classic on November 5-6), all open and graded players will be striving to capture valuable ranking points to claim individual Grand Prix Champion status for their respective grades this year.

Squash & Racquetball Victoria's Pop Up Squash initiative declared a success

Squash & Racquetball Victoria's Pop Up Squash initiative declared a success

18/08/2016, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 19054577

Squash & Racquetball Victoria's Pop Up Squash initiative declared a success

While the full effects of Squash & Racquetball Victoria’s (S&RV) Pop Up Squash concept are yet to be fully felt, the initial response to the initiative has been an extremely positive one according to S&RV Executive Director Fiona Young.

The Australian-first concept, which ran at the Eastland Shopping Centre for three weeks across May and June, saw an empty retail space within the shopping centre transform into a temporary street squash court.
The initiative was funded through VicHealth’s Innovation Challenge grant, and according to Young, achieved many of the concept’s main aims.
“It was a really successful exercise in terms of exposing the sport,” she said.
“Overall, there were just under 3000 people that came through the courts in the three weeks we were at Eastland, and roughly just over half of those people participated in the actual activity and had a go.
“One of the other main reasons people came in to the shop was that they wanted to try some physical activity; there was obviously a curiosity factor as well, but the main reason was people actually wanted to do some activity while they were at the shopping centre, which I guess is really good in terms of VicHealth’s agenda for the activity, because they were around trying to target those people that are not particularly active at present."
While unable to judge the full success of people taking up either squash or racquetball at a local club from just the one Pop Up activation, Young said the initial signs were promising.
“We had about 13% of those people came back for second and third goes at the sport, so it certainly attracted a lot of interest,” she said.
“The majority of people that actually came through and engaged with us – whether that was just talking to us about squash and racquetball or whether it was actually having a go in the shop – a fair few of them knew nothing about the sport, so that was really good we found a target audience that we were aiming for.
“We do know quite a few people have been redeeming the free vouchers that they got in the giveaway packs, and although not a lot of transition to club activities has taken place to date, we still have another activation to complete for the funding requirements."
While the concept proved popular for all ages, Young said the second Pop Up Squash initiative would focus on trying to get younger people involved in the sport.
“Not surprisingly it was the early twenties bracket and below that were the biggest participants and we’ll look at in trying to get our next Pop Up going during a school holiday period,” she said.
“The second highest age group was around the fourties and fifties – probably those people that used to play and came over from the historical point of view in that was an activity that they used to be involved with and used to enjoy.
“Hopefully we may attract a few of those back into it.”
Goulburn Valley Squash Club gears up to host Shepparton International

Goulburn Valley Squash Club gears up to host Shepparton International

17/08/2016, Victoria, Squash, Squash Victoria, Article # 19041179

Goulburn Valley Squash Club gears up to host Shepparton International

The presence of world class players at this weekend's 2016 Shepparton International is sure to provide a welcome boost to squash in the Goulburn Valley region according to Goulburn Valley Squash Club President, Damian Maidment.

The event, which is being hosted by the GV Squash Club for a third year, has continued to go from strength-to-strength since the inaugural tournament in 2014.

With a strong mix of PSA Men's World Tour players and local stars competing in the event, Maidment said spectators would be treated to a high-quality exhibition of squash.

“We’re really excited that an international event is here in Shepparton,” Maidment said.

“It’s something that the club started two years ago and this is our third year, so we’re extremely proud and honoured to have international players of that calibre and standard at our club, it's fantastic.”

To capitalise on the momentum generated for the sport in the region as a result of the tournament, Maidment has called on the services of former and contemporary squash stars to help get people involved in the game.

“We currently have just shy of 100 club members (at Goulburn Valley Squash Club) overall, and casual hitters are obviously extra (numbers) again,” Maidment said.

“We’d love to build on it and expand on it, because to get into the sport itself is reasonably easy, however the exposure that we get is not quite as strong as the following for AFL footy, soccer and netball and that sort of stuff, so if we could build it up and give it more exposure to the general public, potentially more people will walk through the doors and pick up a racquet.

“Myself personally, I’ve been fortunate to billet the winning member for the last year or so, so part of the deal that I’ve set up with the free accomodation is that they give our juniors a bit of a hit.

“I currently have Geoff Hunt here, who is an absolute legend of the sport overall, and I’ve been talking to him to see if I can have his services for 15 minutes with our juniors as well, so hopefully it will all come off.

“These sort of events in country Victoria are vital for our club, not only for survival, but vital for the sport as a whole."

Along with the Open event, the Shepparton International will also see a strong representation of players from across regional Victoria take part in the tournament's graded events, with 70 entries received.

Among those 70 entries, Maidment said he expected a solid contingent of local players from the Shepparton region to feature in the event.

“At this stage we’re looking at fairly strong numbers,” Maidment said.

"We’re looking at about 15 (graded entries) up on last year, which is a great result for us considering we draw on other regional towns.

“From a qualifying point of view, we have eight to ten young fellas competing in the qualifying event. From that, those people in particular have registered for the graded event, so coinciding with those existing eight to ten we’d have another ten players competing in the graded events, so it’s fantastic.”

The 2016 Shepparton International will kick off with an official launch in the Maude Street Mall, Shepparton on Thursday August 18 at 12:30pm, with local council representatives and PSA World Tour players to be in attendance.

A blow up squash court with demonstrations from local GV Squash Club members will also be available for the general public to enjoy a hit of squash in a relaxed and non-competitive environment.

The on-court action will then get underway at the Goulburn Valley Squash Club (83 Archer Street, Shepparton) on Thursday night from 6pm, with the main draw qualification matches. Main draw competition will commence on Friday August 19 with two rounds of play commencing at 10am and 6pm, two rounds on Saturday August 20 at 10am and 5pm, and the finals on Sunday August 21 from 3.45pm.

Entry throughout the tournament is free and spectators are welcome.

For draws and results from the 2016 Shepparton International, click here.