The Cayman Squash Open is in full swing and judging by the positive response ringing around the organisers’ ears, the tournament will ultimately be a huge success.
All put together by coach Dan Kniepp, many of the world’s top female players and some of the Caribbean’s best have been on island since Monday, many for the first time in Cayman.
It is the biggest tournament of its kind ever held in the Caribbean.
The qualifiers started on Tuesday at the club in South Sound and the first round proper begin today with world No.1 Malaysia’s Nicole David in action as well as American Natalie Grainger who is the world No.2.
Cayman’s Marlene West also plays her first game today, hoping to reach today’s quarter-finals.
The semis are on Saturday and Sunday is the finals with $37,500 total prize money at stake.
Kniepp said that the response he has received from the visiting players has been incredibly positive.
They enjoyed a welcoming reception at the Sunshine Suites on Monday and their initial impression of Cayman is excellent.
‘The feedback I’ve had from a bunch of players has been extremely positive,’ Kniepp said. ‘They are ecstatic about being here. They think Cayman is very beautiful and the tournament has been thoroughly well organised.
‘They also understand and appreciate how important this event is not just for the whole of the Caribbean but also for Cayman and for the development of the youth here.’
Local youth players are certainly getting a lot of invaluable tips and perks from this event.
Sports Minister Alden McLaughlin handed over $10,000 worth of Dunlop equipment to schoolkids.
Cayman’s Courtney Stafford was in action on Tuesday night. She lost to the vastly more experienced Malaysian Sharon Wee in three games, but still felt she gained from the experience.
The Cayman Open is sponsored by the Ministry of Sport, BDO, Maples, Massive, Sunshine Suites, Cayman Financial Review, Lime, Dunlop and the Department of Tourism. More details are available at www.caribbeansquash.com