Watch above: Some of the world’s best squash players face off in Saskatoon for a weekend competition. Aaron Streck finds out how the event has grown into a fundraiser for men’s health.
SASKATOON – St. Louis, Mo. one week, Saskatoon, Sask. the next. New Zealand’s Martin Knight has some unfinished business in the Bridge City. The 45th ranked squash player in the world was the runner up at last years Boast International Squash Tournament.
“There’s tournaments at every continent, you do play all around the world but these types of events are really nice because you get a homey feel, the community’s good, they’re really enthusiastic and supportive,” said Knight.
Players near and far converge on Saskatoon, a home coming of sorts for Toronto product Dane Sharp.
“There’s a lot of good international players but they really take the side of Canadians and they’re loud, that feels good, it’s really good to play in front of a crowd that really appreciates you and what country you’re from,” said Sharp.
This is the 14th year for the tournament, one of the longest squash events in the country and there’s $10,000 up for grabs.
“Having guys like this that can have an opportunity to get on a court with amateur players like myself and teach us a lesson and just watching them play at that level is inspiring for everyone, my son’s a young squash player and he loves this week,” said Dr. James Stephenson, the tournament promoter.
With this being an international tournament, organizers are using it to promote an international cause, Movember, and they’re gaining additional sponsors in the process.
“This is the first time we’ve done it and if we can get, I’m hoping to get $5,000 towards the Movember movement and we can grow onward and upward from there,” said Stephenson.
Not all are sporting moustaches but players are on board.
“For us obviously it’s a squash tournament, we’re trying to concentrate on squash but to know in the back round that the club and the community is doing those sorts of things is really good,” said Knight.
“This year they’re actually giving an award to the PSA player with the best ‘stache here, I don’t normally grow a good ‘stache but some of the other players are definitely looking good,” said Sharp.
The hope is to grow the event to one day be able to cut a cheque for $20,000 in prize money and another $10,000 for Movember.
The Saskatoon Movember Boast Tournament continues all week, with the final going Sunday at 2 p.m.