SQUASH enthusiasts can look forward to two high-quality tournaments when the Rhodes and Londt Park opens take place in the next three weeks.
Sponsored by Twizza, the Rhodes Open will be played in Grahamstown from March 21-23, while the Frontline Underwriting Managers Londt Park Open will be held in the first week of April.
Good news for competitors is that while several national top players will be competing, both tournaments cater for players of all levels.
This means league players in the Eastern Cape will not only have a chance of getting some excellent pre-season preparation ahead of the winter leagues beginning on April 8, they will also be able to learn from some of the best exponents in the country.
Thanks to the commitment of the Rhodes Squash Club, the open has become an integral part of the EP squash calendar.
EP squash chairman Alan Stapleton has called on all EP players to back an event which will again receive the support of KwaZulu-Natal players Adrian Hansen and Gary Wheadon.
This pair met in last year’s final, with Hansen regaining the title he had lost to Rudi Willemse, of Western Province, in 2012.
Willemse is also a candidate for the event, while the Rhodes organisers are working hard to get one of England’s best players, Lauren Siddall, to Grahamstown for the tournament. In recent years, Siddall has regularly competed in South Africa’s Jarvis Cup interprovincial competition.
The entry fee is R100 and entries close on Monday.
The Londt Park Open, from April 1 to 4, has been re-established as the biggest tournament on the EP calendar, having been awarded level one status by Squash SA.
This means a total prize purse of R24000 is on offer.
The status of the tournament will also allow for maximum points for the national rankings.
The tournament will comprise an A section of 16 each for both men and women, and a B section of 16 or 32, depending on entries.
The organisers are also preparing for further sections should this be warranted by the number of entries. – Neale Emslie