Record breaking largest field for Growthpoint SA Nationals

A record-breaking 409 entries were received for the 2020 Growthpoint SA National championships.

From the first entry by Damian Groenewald (Northerns), followed closely by Christo Potgieter (Jo’burg) to the late entry from Monique Ludick (EP) it has been an emphatic return to squash by the SA players.

@Growthpoint, @Tsogo Sun, @Eurolux – Lighting your way, @Accelerate Sport

#SquashIsBack

EXCITING OPPORTUNITY FOR SOUTH AFRICAN SQUASH PLAYERS

Squash SA make a safe return to tournament play

Pretoria, South Africa. South African squash is excited to emerge from its coronavirus-enforced shutdown with a series of tournaments next month, culminating in a high-powered Growthpoint SA Nationals at the Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria from October 15 to 17.

Having done their due diligence in terms of the Covid-19 regulations, Squash SA Acting President Jennifer Sawyer said they were delighted to be back in action, with the lockdown period forcing them to reassess how best to cater for the nation’s squash players.

This has resulted in a revamped Growthpoint SA Nationals, which will provide more players with the chance to compete in the tournament than ever before through eight qualifying tournaments.

They will take place in eight provinces around the country, with the winners qualifying for the main event. The events will cater for 256 men and 128 women.

It will all come to a spectacular conclusion when the main event is held on the all-glass squash court in Brooklyn Mall in mid-October, where the cream of SA’s players will fight it out for the honour of national champion.

“We are delighted to announce this innovation for the Growthpoint SA Nationals and we believe this model provides more opportunities to more athletes than ever before,” said Sawyer.

“We are extremely grateful to Growthpoint for their full support in this new format, as well as Tsogo Sun and Dunlop, who have continued to support us.”

The tournaments will all be played according to the Covid-19 risk mitigation strategy submitted by Squash SA and approved by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. The federation has worked closely with government to ensure the full compliance necessary to proceed.

Only the participating players, event staff and broadcast team will be allowed on-site in Brooklyn Mall. All participants will be screened prior to the start of each day. Security will ensure no gathering of crowds and safe social distancing. No spectators will be allowed at the tournaments, as well as no hospitality.

“Our focus is to ensure that our athletes can compete in a safe and responsible manner,” said Sawyer. “We will work to ensure that no athletes or staff will be compromised in any way.”

Entries are open for the regional tournaments and players can submit their names by logging on to www.sportyhq.com.

The events will be held in Eastern Province (Port Elizabeth), Western Province (Cape Town), Free State (Bloemfontein), North West (Potchefstroom), Gauteng (Johannesburg), Northerns (Pretoria), Midlands (Pietermaritzburg) and KwaZulu-Natal (Durban).

East London will host the Border leg from October 1 to 4, from where the top four men and women will enter the Port Elizabeth draw the next weekend.

These will be played from October 8 to 11, with each player guaranteed four matches and a handout.

Entries close at midnight on September 17.

Tournament Schedule 

  • 1-4 October: East London pre-qualifier
  • 8-11 October: Regional qualifiers (Potchefstroom, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Durban).
  • 15-17 October: Growthpoint SA Nationals (Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria)

Squash SA Calendar 2020

As we edge forward under the COVID 19 restrictions and health protocols, some tournaments are appearing on the calendar:

October  2020
1-4 Ironman 4 x 4 PSA Closed Satellite, B and C sections – Parkview Squash Centre, Johannesburg
2-4 JJS Start of Season Tournament (Junior) – Randburg Squash Centre, Johannesburg
1-4  Growthpoint S A National Championships – Border Hub : East London
8-11 Growthpoint SA National  Championships
• Eastern Province (Port Elizabeth ), Western Province (Cape Town)
• Free State (Bloemfontein), North West  (Potchefstroom)
• Northerns (Pretoria), Joburg Squash (Johannesburg), Midlands
• Pietermaritzburg, Kwa Zulu Natal, Durban
15-17 Growthpoint S A Nationals – Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria
19-23 Squash South Africa Convention – Johannesburg Country Club, Auckland Park
• Special General Meeting, Annual General Meeting
November  2020
5-8 GPCE, B and C Sections – Parkview Squash Centre, Johannesburg
12-15 GPCE PSA Closed  Satellite – Parkview Squash Centre, Johannesburg
26-29 Assore/Balwin Joburg Open USD$ 3000 Tour Event – Parkview Squash centre, Johannesburg
December  2020
3-6 Assore/Balwin Joburg Open B and C sections – Parkview Squash Centre, Johannesburg

PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY EVENTS WHICH YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD PLEASE SEND THE NECESSARY INFORMATION TO JACQUI: Jacqui@squashsa.co.za

Sad passing of Stuart Hailstone

42 years ago in 1978 talented sixteen-year-old Stuart Hailstone, a product of Zimbabwe, appeared in the SA Schools Tournament for the first time.  Well mannered, humble, an absolute sportsman on and off the court gifted with fast reflexes, fluid movement coupled by grit, determination, and commitment, Stuart was in the next few years going to make a huge impact on the South Africa Squash Scene.

Stuart appeared in 5 S A Nationals finals winning in 1986, 1989, and 1991 and finishing as runner-up in 1988 and 1992.

In 1986 he lost  2-3 in a tight exciting S A Open final to New Zealander  Stuart Davenport and then went on to be crowned S A Open champion in 1988 when he defeated fellow South Africa, Paul Symonds.

Stuart campaigned internationally reaching a personal high of 14 in August 1987. He proved a worthy ambassador for South African squash although playing under the Scottish flag

1992 in the first Test Series, David Quail managed a young team consisting of Stuart, Gunner Way, Craig Wapnick, and Craig van der Wath against England.

1993 saw the same South African team, managed by Alan Doggett, participate for the first time in the World Team Championships in Karachi, Pakistan. Seeded 27th, they caused the upsets finishing 13th having not lost a match.

A loyal Western Province player, Stuart played a big role in Western Province’s breaking of the then Transvaal’s 4-year long dominance of the Jarvis Cup from 1986-90 as Western Province then annexed the trophy in 1991, 1992, 1993.

Stuart was the perfect role model for many young players  – climbing the ladder of success but always with his feet on the ground: a committed loyal team player and friend: imparting his squash expertise, knowledge, and experience as a coach: taken too young, he will be sorely missed on many fronts.

Sincere condolences to Karen and his family.

2020 Growthpoint S A Nationals

The 2020 Growthpoint S A Nationals which will be played in 8 regions/hubs. The top 4 men and women players from East London will join the PE hub.

Junior players are welcome to enter

  • They need to be registered on Sporty HQ  and the entries are done on line on Sporty HQ

It is an exciting innovation and will be  a welcome Return to Squash.

Full information: 2020 GROWTHPOINT SA NATIONAL MEN AND WOMEN FLYER

Return to play approved for Squash

Squash has received permission from the Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture for the resumption of training to non-contact sport.

Please I do remind everyone that it is “PHASED IN TRAINING”.  Please ensure that all players, coaches, and clubs have received the necessary documentation.

Level 2 coaches MAY only coach if they are coaching the players who have the approval to Return to Training for PHASE 1

Phase 2  will occur from Monday  20th July 2020; the same conditions apply. The necessary documentation will need to be in order.

Phase 2 players are those who participated in the B, C and D sections at the 2019 Interprovincial and the 2019 top 10 ranked under 14,16,19 S A Schools players.

Level 1 coaches MAY only coach if they are coaching either players in Phase 1 or Phase 2.

Phase 2 coaches who did not coach  players in Phase 1  may only coach if they are coaching players eligible for Phase 2

Step by step we are getting back on to the courts.

Read the letter: Squash Minister letter approve return to play

Liz Addison | National Director & Development Manager

Return to play approval imminent

Dear All

The official letter from the Minister of Sport is imminent and we are expecting that from next week Phase 1 – Return to Training of the Professional player and Elite Coaches will happen.

Attached please find a list of the players: A section Growthpoint Interprovincial, PSA members, National Junior Men’s Squash, Level 2 coaches who may resume training: Phase 1 COVID 19 (updated) and the clubs to which the players /coaches belong. (Should there be any changes in clubs please let me know).

The above players and Level 2 coaches are the only players/coaches who may resume in Phase 1.

Please: Players ensure that you are registered on Sporty Q  and once this has been verified you will receive a letter of accreditation from Squash South Africa

Level 2 coaches please ensure that you are registered with Squash South Arica and then you will also receive a letter of accreditation.

Clubs please ensure that you have made application through the correct channels, have fulfilled the criteria for opening of the facilities for the designated players, and have received written approval to open from the Squash South Africa Covid Officer, Paul Vermaak.

If there are any queries regarding players or coaches please contact me.

If any queries regarding clubs please contact Paul Vermaak at Covid@squashsa.co.za

Liz Addison | National Director & Development Manager

Accreditation to re-open facilities

Dear Club Owners/ Managers

Squash South Africa has progressed to an advanced stage of returning to play. We wait with anticipation, to hear from the Minister of Sport, regarding approval to commence with our “Return to Play Operational Plan”. Naturally, we hope that all current conditions in our plan will be accepted, without amendment.

To facilitate this process, can you please complete this online form.

Your information will be held confidential, and only used to confirm accreditation to re-open your facilities for training. The more accurate and detailed the information, you provide, the more likely we can approve quickly.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to our dedicated COVID Response email address (COVID@squashsa.co.za) or WhatsApp number (082 854 1897).

Regards

Liz Addison | National Director & Development Manager

https://forms.gle/7GfUPCJyovvYKtGi9  #SquashIsBack

Squash and Covid-19 – Return to play

Please find the final updated Return to Play document submitted together with the online questionnaire to the Minister of Sport.

The first submission made by Squash South Africa was on Thursday 18th June 2020.

This document is very detailed in order that we may receive permission from the Minister of Sport Art and Culture. It is forwarded by the Minister of Sport, Art, and Culture to the Minister of Health for his approval as well.

In the next few days, we will be working on a  simplified package to be disseminated so that all stakeholders are aware of what is needed to Return to Squash for the Professional Athlete as soon as we receive the written approval from the Minister of Sport, Art and Culture to re-open.

A sincere thank you to Jennifer Sawyer, Alison Burchell for valuable input and particularly Paul Vermaak for the hours spent on the presentation format.

Download the document here: Squash SA – Return to Play v1.2 (DSAC) (updated).

Please take note:
• Squash may NOT commence without the approval from the Minister of Sport.
• Conditions may change, based on the approval/ conditional approvals obtained.
• We have developed this plan with ease of athlete/ coach/ club submission and the safe, rapid return to squash.
• We are ready to assist with submissions, approvals, and accreditations of persons, as soon as the window opens.
• Although every effort was made to avoid errors, some may have slipped through – please report them to covid@squashsa.co.za

Please read this plan, familiarize yourselves and let us prepare for getting back on court.

PSA Announce Tour Suspension Extended Until Mid-August Due to COVID-19

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) can confirm that the suspension of the PSA Tour following the global COVID-19 pandemic has been extended and all World Tour, Challenger Tour and WSF & PSA Satellite Tour events originally planned to take place in July and at the start of August have been postponed.

The PSA Tour has been on hold since March 13, and following regular communication with tournament organisers and players, and with the health and safety of all players, promoters, fans and tournament staff in mind, the decision has been made to extend the suspension until mid-August.

The suspension will be extended until August 16 and the PSA will continue to review the situation over the coming weeks.

The following is a list of affected tournaments:

  • Victoria Open in Melbourne, Australia
  • HCL SRFI Indian Tour – Noida Leg in Greater Noida, India
  • City of Greater Shepparton International in Shepparton, Australia
  • Kingston City Council Squash Melbourne Open in Melbourne, Australia

“There are a number of uncertainties surrounding international travel, social distancing guidelines and potential quarantine measures for players and staff travelling internationally, which means that resuming the tour in the next six to eight weeks isn’t feasible at present,” said PSA Tour Director Hannah Ridgard-Mason.

“This is a difficult, but necessary, decision and we are naturally disappointed that we are not yet in a position to resume the PSA Tour following this global pandemic.

“However, the health and safety of all of our players and everyone involved in running an event is paramount. We continue to explore all available options as we look to outline a roadmap for the return of professional squash.”