More and more often this year, when you enter the Recplex you’ve probably been met with the rhythmic sound of a ball slapping a wall, bouncing once, and being returned to the wall. Once in awhile, maybe a racquet smashes against a sidewall, or someone yells in frustration. What you’re hearing is squash, and lately, those sounds are almost always present at the gym.
It wasn’t always that way. Squash at Quest has seen a surge in popularity over the 2016/17 academic year. With the advent of an organized club for the sport, as well as new racquets and a Facebook page for students to arrange games, squash playership has picked up tremendously.
Last semester, an ongoing ladder tournament organized by the club saw over 25 students compete and over 150 games played over a two month period. This year, four students decided to take their talents off campus and try out their skills against Squamish locals and players from beyond in the annual Sea To Sky Squash Tournament that was held over the January block break.
Ahmed Kamal, Isaac Bedard, Theo Lorenz, and Parker Carruthers all competed in the tournament. Quest staff members Aimee Mahgner and Birgit Widmaier also competed in the Women’s division. Over 70 athletes entered from all over the province, with most coming from Squamish, Whistler, and Courtney/Comox on Vancouver Island.
Quest hosted 10 games on Friday evening. Local players and spectators alike turned up to watch the games. From Saturday morning onwards the games were hosted down the hill, at the Squamish Squash Club on Mamquam Road.
Bedard, Lorenz, and Carruthers all competed in the Men’s D division, while Kamal played a division above in Men’s C. Carruthers and Bedard won both of their games to face off against each other final. After an exciting match, Carruthers came out on top against Bedard to claim first place in the division. Kamal also fared well in his division, winning all three of his games to place first in the Men’s C. Lorenz took third place in D, rounding off the podium with three Quest students on top. Mahnger and Widmaier also battled for first in the Women’s D division, where Mahnger emerged victorious.
The tournament was a great success in the eyes of the tournament organizers. Steve Jacobs, organizer and competitor in the tournament, was cited as saying that Quest’s help was greatly appreciated, and that he hopes to have more Quest students come down to challenge the local squash players in the future.
The Quest squash club is currently working with Athletics coordinator JF Plouffe to obtain better institutional support in the future. Maintenance of racquets and equipment, support for players who wish to compete beyond Squamish, and introductory workshops for players who are new to the sport are all initiatives they are interested in developing.