West looks forward to Open – but not competing!

Camana Bay is gearing up for an
unusual activity next month when it hosts the Cayman Open squash tournament in
a glass arena.

The picturesque setting by the
waterfront will be converted into a wonderful venue for a great event that will
host eight of the world’s top women players and some of the Caribbean’s best

Marlene West will lead the local
charge at the Cayman Open which runs from 11-17 April. On Tuesday she was drawn
to play Rachael Grinham, the world’s No.4 in the first round.

Australian Grinham, 33, has a
formidable record having won the World Open three years ago, the British Open
three times and been the world No.1 in 2004.

Grinham competed here with her
sister Natalie last year and is looking forward to coming back.

West has been hampered by knee
surgery but she will give it her best shot.

She said: “I think my chances are
quite limited really. When you have eight of the top ten in the world, you’re
going to come up against a full force in any event.

“The best way I can prepare right
now is to continue what I have been doing within reason because of my knee. And
to watch a few games of Natalie playing just to see what I can pick up.

“I think this is such a fantastic
event. Squash has been a big part of my life for a long time and to see
something like this is wonderful and even more so to be part of it in whatever
capacity is just great.

 “Recovery is a long, patient process. It was
done last June and July but I played in the Caribbean Championships here in
August and really shouldn’t have. I think I just put myself further back in the
recovery process. But the knee is feeling stronger each day and I’m learning to
maintain it.

“What’s been helping is that
doubles training is not as strenuous as singles training is. That helps to
gradually adjust to being court again.”

West is preparing to go to the
Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India in October.

Cline Glidden Jnr, junior Tourism
Minister, was at the draw. He said: “We’re excited and see this tournament
growing from strength to strength. We’re excited to be a part of that and to
partner the private sector.

“The government is obviously
supportive of sports tourism and in these difficult economic times in the world
I think it is a testament to the Cayman Islands and the private sports
organisations that we can attract this kind of talent here and we look forward
to supporting events such as these.”

Glidden will have a squash game
against Sports Minister Mark Scotland and promised it will be one of the “low
lights” of the event!