The season for tennis and squash tournaments is heating up in some places, but other groups have had to modify their plans due to unforeseen circumstances.
The World Squash Federation had initially planned to hold this year’s world junior squash championships in Cairo, Egypt, from July 25 to August 4. However, the organization announced that it has been canceled.
The reason, the WSF said, was that many parents and others associated with the tournament expressed fears over terrorism in the region.
Specifically, the WSF said that parents worried about “the extreme radicalism in the region, not specific to Egypt,” including the recent deaths of tourists by militants in Tunisia.
The move no doubt comes as a disappointment to the many youngsters who have participated in squash training clinics to prepare for the games.
Officials hesitated to cancel the event, but ultimately said in a statement, “The decision to cancel the event in Cairo has been taken with reluctance but, based upon prevailing circumstances, we feel it is the prudent approach.”
However, safety was the primary concern for all participants, and the tournament will be relocated if possible, according to the WSF. The organization is looking for prospective hosts who can hold the tournament on the same day and at the same cost.
“Safety should be a legitimate and priority concern for the athletes who were expecting to travel to Cairo,” said Mike Cash, managing director at Cityview Racquet Club in Long Island, NY. “However, for the competitor, it is often a takeaway on their game because they’ve spent months mentally, emotionally, and physically preparing for these tournaments. The athlete is typically not thrilled with the fact that there’s a cancellation or postponement, but safety should always be considered first.”
However, there are plenty of other racquet sport events happening soon — for those who are willing to travel.
On the island of Bermuda, about 770 miles off the coast of the United States, the Coral Beach and Tennis Club will host the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association Open Singles Challenge, an elite event that is open to the public.
The tournament, which will run from Wednesday, April 8 to Saturday, April 11, will also serve as mandatory qualification for Bermuda’s team to get to the Davis Cup and Fed Cup squads.
All of Bermuda’s national players will be there to participate.
Those who are looking for a more low-key tennis or squash tournament, however, can check with their local racquet clubs.
For example, No Limits Fitness in North Shore, British Columbia, will host a tournament presented by the Kamloops Squash Association from April 10 to 12.
The tournament only costs $40 to enter and will feature a pizza party on Friday night and a barbecue on Saturday. The event is open to participants of all skill levels.