Squash Cook Islands president Brett Baudinet – better known for swinging a tennis racquet – said the Club Raro Squash Open had one of the best line-ups of players seen in the sport’s history.
This was an exciting achievement for the competition. “It shows not only that we are encouraging top level players to compete locally, but that we are lifting the level of the sport in our country.”
“We have even started talks of starting a kids programme to help our schools introduce squash to their students,” he revealed.
“We are seeking any parents that would be happy to get involved and assist in this program by please reaching out to us on our website cisquash.co.ck.”
Eighty athletes swung into action for this year’s open, with 60 players from New Zealand and 20 local residents.
Both the men’s and women’s draw enticed some very exciting and high-level athletes, Baudinet said. The top-ranked players included New Zealand's 16th-ranked player Cameron Jamieson as well as several A2 and B Level players.
“This provided for a very exciting week of squash with tough matches from day one.”
In the women’s draw, local champioin Anita Boaza, who has won the Open for many years, was beaten by New Zealander Cherie Fletcher in a very exciting final, he said.
The men's final between Paul Bedford (the 2017 winner) and Cameron Jamieson pleasantly surprised the spectators – with both men showing up to play wearing local beach-designed outfits.
The exciting match had both players pushing themselves to the limit, with even a few dives; Jamieson managed to overcome Bedford and claim the men’s open title.
The level of competition has sparked the local players to keep up their play and prepare for next year, Baudinet said.
“A very big thank you to our sponsors, and especially our major sponsor Club Raro Resort who have been the main event sponsor for us for some 20-plus years.”