By Nalin Jayetileke
All past veteran squash players of Sri Lanka teamed up for a friendly Squash tournament yesterday at the CCC Squash courts. The matches commenced with a brief draw which had two segments, the Grand masters which is for players over 60 years and the masters over 45 and under 60 years.
The current Sri Lanka Squash players and crowds who came to witness their former stars play, were able to see some technically correct Squash played by the veterans. The highlight of the day was the matches played by former National Champion and world ranked player Sman Thilakaratne who showcased his class and craft in courts winning the Masters over 45, whilst the stylish veteran Priyan Fernando went on to win the Grand masters beating R S Deen in a thrilling 3 setter. The awards were given away by the Sri Lankan and Davis Cup veteran Tennis star, Mr Arjun Fernando.
The matches were all set for best of 3 sets and the draw gave opportunity for all players to play at least 3 games, where all masters players were seen enjoying playing each other.
Former Sri Lanka stars/ Grand masters Wing Commander Ranjan Samarasinghe, Oliver Guruge and Yasmin Zarook were also seen as part of the proceeding though did not take to the courts.
The organizing committee which is headed by Dammika Wijesundara stated that this will be a monthly event where the Masters Squash players of Sri Lanka will play on the last Sunday of the respective month and will run the event in the lines of a Monthly medal played in Golf Clubs so that it creates interest amongst players and motivate the veterans to take to the courts again and be amongst the Squash fraternity of Sri Lanka.
Talking to thesundayreader.lk Dammika said ‘The main aim is to get all veterans to rally round the sport so that we get their guidance and support to develop the Sport of Squash in Sri Lanka’. The organisers outlined 7 objectives;
- To retain existing players within the game.
- Encourage a comeback for players who have already moved out of Squash.
- Socialise with like-minded Squash veterans.
- To encourage masters players to play competitive Squash.
- It helps the masters to keep fit.
- Plan a Masters event for the World Squash day which is on the 12th of Oct .
- Support development of Squash in Sri Lanka.
Thesundayreader.lk would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the organisers for the thought and efforts take to develop interest amongst the veteran Squash players of Sri Lanka and wish them all success in their endeavour.