From rags to riches in squash style – the Singapore Squash Meetup group
The Singapore Squash Meetup group recently held its annual squash tournament from 11 – 15 October 2017 at the Kallang Squash Centre. The event, running for the 5th consecutive year, attracted over 50 entries from an international field of 15 nations from 4 continents. This year’s event was made merrier with the induction of the ladies category, in addition to the Division 1 and 2 open categories.
Ivan Yew, the top seed of the Division 1 event for the third straight year running, made up for his disappointment last year by recapturing the title he won in 2015, beating Ken Hooi in the final, thus being the only person to have won the title twice.
In Division 2, Frenchman Christopher Tanchou edged his fellow countryman Gilles Baillet to win a closely fought final. Malaysian Julia Cheah proved a class above the rest in the ladies field, easily winning all her matches, while local Jamie Lim came in second.
In keeping true to its tradition, the event ended with a barbecue party for all participants and also members of the Meetup group.
The Singapore Squash Meetup group has come a long way since its first inception back in 2010, where it’s subscribed members stood at 50. Over the years, it has now grown to a whopping 900 members. While not all are active members, it is evident that the group is well alive judging from the regular playing sessions they hold consistently 5 times a week, with each session attended by up to 30 members.
The group started off as a very social platform for squash lovers to have a hit, and they still do, still maintaining a random match-up of members playing a one set game of 15 points each time. Players from all levels of play are welcomed with open arms and the group is also popular with business travellers who can’t lay their hands off their squash rackets.
On the competitive front, the group first participated in the National Squash League (NSL) in 2013 with an F grade team. A year later in 2014, they emerged runners-up in the F grade playoffs. Things really took off in 2015 when they competed with two F grade teams and one of them emerging champions.
2016 was another milestone when they finally moved up the ranks with an E and D team, the latter coming out champions. Many of the players in the D team were from the original F teams of the previous years, so that was quite a feat for a bunch of players who only played one setters.
This year, the Singapore Squash Meetup group went bonkers as they submitted a record (by far, by their own standards!) six teams at the NSL. Their elite team, the B graders, even came out a close 2nd place eventually and don’t be surprised if they field an A team in the coming year!
Article by Alex Wan