Top local pro Mark Chalenor was in action at the South Sound Squash Club in an exhibition bout with his doubles partner Chris Walker two weeks ago and had the packed house enthralled. It was such a success that there could be more world class exhibition matches in the future.
“It went very well indeed, South Sound Squash Club were delighted at the level of attendance, we beat our expectations given the level of other activities going on that evening,” Chalenor said.
“We had over 80 people spectating and thoroughly enjoying the athleticism during the match. The rallies were long and had viewers on the edge of their seats, cheering wildly.
“This created a vibrant atmosphere and many people said to me after the match that they had never thought squash was so much fun to watch. The spectators were delighted at receiving their complimentary CayBrew or glass of wine donated by CayBrew and Premier Wines & Spirits.
“Premier Wines & Spirits also donated a bottle of Atlantico Rum for the raffle. Another raffle prize was a squash lesson from Chris and myself, which was won by one of the up and coming junior players here in Cayman, Julian Jervis.”
The match was extremely tight and came down to the wire in the fifth game. Chalenor managed to edge Walker out 3-2. It took over an hour for them to battle it out. The two players hosted a question and answer session afterwards, where spectators asked about their training regimes, match preparation, career highlights and the like.
Both played in a Legends event in St Louis, Missouri last week which was set up by former world No.1 Peter Nicol, together with John Nimick, who organises the Tournament of Champions in New York each year. To qualify for a Legends event, entrants need to have been a world champion at some stage in their careers, or have been in the final of a major squash event.
Chalenor had two match balls against former world No.3 Simon Parke, but couldn’t convert them and lost 2-1. Then he also lost to Peter Nicol 2-1 also but played well overall and feels he needs a little more match practice and training.
Walker played John White and lost 2-0 and then played Mark Heather and narrowly went down 2-1.
All the matches were very competitive and the final was won by Nicol over White, who unfortunately hurt his ankle at 1-1.
Prior to the main exhibition at South Sound, Chalenor and Walker ran through some typical exercises they do on a match day and explained the importance of these to help get focused and become more accurate in matches. “I also had a challenge with a spectator to see how many shots could be struck against the front and side walls, from the middle of the court in a figure of eight sequence. This was fun as I had half the time to achieve it, but still managed it.
“Overall the evening was a fantastic success and everyone involved, including Cayman Sports, Premier Wines & Spirits, Caybrew and South Sound Squash Club were very pleased indeed and look forward to the next instalment.”