Spring Fling squash tournament in Prince Rupert a smashing success

The Prince Rupert Racquets Association hosted a fun weekend of squash for the Spring Fling squash tournament, bringing players from across the province for the competition.

The club said the three-day event was unanimously acclaimed to be “one of the most successful weekends of squash the Prince Rupert club has hosted since the pandemic.”

Thirty-five squash enthusiasts from Prince Rupert, Smithers, Terrace and Victoria took part in the competition, which closed the curtain on the North’s squash season, with the next tournament planned for November in Smithers.

Prince Rupert’s Richard Haley placed first in Flight 1 while Marek Gomolka, all the way from Victoria, came first in Flight 2. Flight 3 was captured by Matt Kulak from Smithers, and Prince Rupert’s Frances Riley topped the fourth flight.

Haley said the success of the competition has encouraged the club to plan for more events after a challenging few years due to COVID.

“I think we knocked it out of the park…we’re absolutely thrilled,” said Haley, who added the club is looking to see more junior members taking up the sport. Youngster Abby Touchet of Prince Rupert was also given a special mention by the club for her athletic displays at the Spring Fling.

The addition of glass panels at the club’s court – brought in 202o with a grant from the Prince Rupert Port Authority – allowed for visitors to enjoy the sporting spectacle, according to Riley.

“These large glass panels replaced the old tiny window and door at the back of the squash court, and allow for exceptional spectator engagement at court level,” she said. “This makes viewing matches better than it has ever been in the history of the club, and this was evident in the way the bleachers were occupied all weekend with friends, family, and players cheering each other on.”

The club has also had to deal with the long process of renovations after a November fire damaged the building.

It was also a great weekend on the social front according to Riley, with participants joining for a fun Saturday evening at the club’s lounge.

Riley said a quarter of the participants were registered as novices, a positive sign for a club that is trying to expand.

Those interested in exploring the sport can find the racquets association on Facebook or by calling 250-627-1446.

Seth Forward, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View