Doubles popularity growing for players and spectators

By Zac Yates

As many other Masters Games sports seem to be suffering from dwindling player numbers one is well and truly on the up.

Wanganui Squash Club treasurer-administrator Donna Harold said the doubles game had seen a jump in entrants from the 2011 Games.

"It's hard to say why but while the singles numbers are down the doubles have really picked up in popularity.

"The way it's organised means there's different grades playing together so everyone gets to meet and play each other. We have quite a few Aussies here this time and most of them are doubles novices," she said.

Entry numbers increased to such an extent that the club's facilities on Bassett St couldn't handle all the games scheduled for Wednesday. Instead the division 1 and 3 games were played there while the Rivercity Squash Club hosted the division 2 matches, seven courts in all.

Wanganui Squash Club president Paul Kenny said the doubles game was great for both players and spectators. "The great thing about doubles is it prolongs the lifespan of the player.

It's a lot more tactical and strategic than singles, and it's also a lot more exciting to watch. Singles is often a lot of back and forth, so sometimes it can get pretty boring to watch."

Kenny said he hadn't had much practice with singles due to time spent coaching at the club but had played plenty of doubles matches in preparation. He also has several Masters Games medals from each of his 12 games appearances in Wanganui and, most recently, Dunedin.

"A group of nine of us went down to Dunedin last time and we did pretty well."

One of that group was Kenny's wife Julie, who played with partner Graeme McKenzie in the round robin. Neither Kenny made it past the round robin.


Gold: Andrew Christie, Brian Stewart

Silver: Ian van Delden, Vance Wilson

Bronze: Sharon Bryant, Moana Hawea


Gold: Wade Boneybeer, Francis Taylor

Silver: Al Nixon, Mark Tunbridge

Bronze: Jackie Bannan, John Scully

- Wanganui Chronicle

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