The onset of a dark and cold winter might have finally spurred the interest squash organizers have been looking for in the sport all year, as 23 people participated in a three-day tournament last weekend.
For Jenn Parrott, it was her first time playing the sport in 16 years.
“It’s nice there’s a tournament like this to get back into it,” said Parrott, who was 3-0 while preparing for her final two matches of the event.
The tournament was her first for squash, and she thanked Get Active NWT for the funding to help put it on.
“With their support and partnership, we’re able to have more events like these,” said Parrott.
Kendall McDonald, drenched in sweat, had just come out of a long match with Chris Gilmour.
“It was fun,” he said. “I won that one. You win some, you lose some.”
He said it was probably the best squash tournament he’s seen yet in town, with seven players in the top division.
“We have four separate divisions, so there are skill levels for everyone,” he said.
He thinks the toughest part of the game to master is positioning.
“It’s probably the most underrated skill for new players,” he said. “After that is racquet skill, control of the ball. It’s not just about hitting it hard. It’s about placing it, positioning the ball where your opponent isn’t.”
Organizer Grant Convey was happy about the turnout but miffed at his loss to rival Brandon Johnston.
“I always lose to him in the tournament for some reason,” said Convey. “I can beat him when we play during the week. He frustrates me at tournament time. He’s a wily ol’ veteran of the game.”
He said 23 players was a great turnout for Inuvik.
More tournaments for squash this winter are likely, depending on funding and schedules.