News from Townsville Enterprise

March 15th, 2017

Townsville to host Australian Closed & National Graded Squash Championships

This year sees the return of the Australian Closed Championships, a national tournament open to Australian players at the highest standard of squash. The Australian Closed is a chance for players to gain points on the Australian Squash Tour and the International PSA tour.

The National Graded Championships have been a well-received addition to the tournament, facilitating a draw for social players across Australia.

The event will attract interstate players to Townsville on Friday 24 – Sunday 26 March 2017 who will compete in hopes of becoming new National Champions. Townsville Ten Pin and Fun Centre will host the 2017 Australian Closed Championships, which is driving local participation in the area.

Townsville Enterprise Tourism & Events Director, Bridget Woods, welcomes the Championships to Townsville.

“We look forward to welcoming over 700 tournament attendees to Townsville for the Australian Closed and National Graded Championships”, Ms Woods said.

“The event alone is estimated to inject over $550,000 into the local economy”.

“We hope that visiting participants and supporters will get some down-time in between matches and experience some of our local attractions while they are in the region”.

A number of High Performance athletes will descend upon Townsville in March, including World Number 76 Zac Alexander, winner of eight professional titles in 2016. Alexander will be joined by Tamika Saxby in the main draw, World Number 50, who shared similar successes in 2016. Joining the mix are Winning Edge Squad Members Rhys Dowling, Alex Eustace and Jessica Turnbull, all of whom train under the watchful eye of Performance Coach, Zac Alexander.

Queenslander Alex Eustace farewelled his junior career in style with a win at the National Junior Championships. He is hoping to replicate his success at the Australian Closed.

“I get the opportunity at the Australian Closed to play against the top senior players in Australia and see how I shape up”, Eustace said.

Eustace hopes that the tournament, which will be his first major senior tournament, will benefit him in his new venture on the Australian Squash Tour.

“The Australian Closed will allow me to see what level I’m currently at against the top senior players in Australia”.

Jess Turnbull, a Winning Edge Squad member has also entered the Closed tournament.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the first Australian National tournament of the year. It’s good to finally have something similar to many other countries”, Turnbull said.

Turnbull is excited to play in the Australian Closed with additional AST points on offer.

“It’s pretty exciting to know that if I’m fortunate enough to finish well I could be in good standing for the rankings for the rest of the year”.

The tournament in Townsville isn’t just for professional squash players. The National Graded Championships will run alongside the Australian Closed to give graded players across Australia the opportunity to play similar players on a national stage. The implementation of the Graded Championships to the Australian Squash Tour is a great chance to increase participation for social members.

The National Graded Championships in Townsville will have draws for A, C and E grade players, while Premier, B and D will be held in Darwin at the Australian Open in November.

Squash Australia has also planned a number of activities surrounding the event. Townsville Ten Pin and Fun Centre will host a “Trivia and Games Night” on Friday 24 March, the Squash Australia Annual Awards Night will be held Saturday 25 March at the Mercure Townsville and Sunday, at Willows Golf Club, Squash Australia will host the Inaugural Corporate Golf Day. All information can be found at squash.org.au.

The Australian Closed and National Graded Championships are exciting additions to the Australian Squash Tour in 2017.

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