Some of the world’s top women
players are again heading for the Cayman Squash Open.
The second annual event, which will
be held in Camana Bay and at the South Sound Squash Club, is expecting great
crowds, according to Dan Kneipp, the manager of South Sound Squash Club and tournament
Organised by the Cayman Islands
National Squash Association, one of the main aims of the tournament which runs
from 11-17 April is to offer free squash to Cayman’s junior players.
The tournament will also donate
$18,000 worth of equipment to the junior programme which players will receive
once they progress past the beginner stage.
During the tournament 300 juniors
from 12 of the Islands’ schools will be given free workshops by the pros at the
squash club and at Camana Bay.
Apart from the huge draw of the
competition, attracting eight of the world’s top 10 female players, the
tournament will be played in a glass court for the first time in Cayman’s
Kneipp said that the portable
32-foot by 21-foot court has been shipped in from Mexico and will be sent to a
tournament in Canberra, Australia once the Cayman Open was over.
“The main attraction of the glass
court is that allows us to play in a beautiful location while allowing for a
larger crowd,” Kneipp said.
“It’s being set up at The Crescent
overlooking the waterfront marina and seating for 300 spectators will stretch
down The Paseo.”
He also mentioned that there was
room for free standing room only. Evening sessions at Camana Bay will be played
from 6.30pm, 14-17 April.
International female players will
include the current world number one, Nicol David from Malaysia, who is the
reigning Cayman champion and Australia’s Rachel Grinham, current Commonwealth
Games gold medallist and ranked fourth in the world.
The first of three wild card spots,
Kneipp explained, had been given to Marlene West: seven times Cayman Senior
national champion and six times Caribbean champion. She will be playing Grinham
in the first round match on Wednesday, 14 April, 6.30pm.
Chantelle Day, the second wildcard
player, is the former Caribbean Junior champion and is Cayman’s number two
Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes closes
out the wild card competitors and is ranked 68th in the world and is the
current Caribbean Senior women’s champion.
The men’s is an invitational
competition and will feature three of the top four Caribbean players including
the 2007 Caribbean champion Gavin Cumberbatch (Barbados) and Trinidad &
Tobago’s Colin Ramasra the 2007 and 2009 Caribbean Championship finalist.
The four Cayman Islands players
include the current Caribbean U-19 Junior Cameron Stafford and Commonwealth
Games squad members Jake Kelly and Myron Blair and current Cayman Islands Open
champion Dean Watson.
The women’s finalists will receive
world ranking prizes totalling US$55,000. The men’s prize fund is considerably
smaller, but there is a lot of national pride at stake!
Tickets, ranging in price from $15
to $50, are available from www.caribbeansquash.com.
merchandising (including shirts, umbrellas, tiles and posters) will be
available through Guy Harvey’s Gallery and Shoppe.