Cayman Islands Go Gold For WISPA

An increase in the prize fund has led to the 2010 Women’s Cayman Islands Squash Open going Gold, according to an announcement today by the Women’s International Squash Players’ Association.

The $55,300 WISPA World Tour event – the third Gold event of the year, from 11-17 April – will be staged for the first time on an all-glass court erected at Camana Bay, a 500-acre shopping, entertainment, office and residential complex stretching from the Caribbean sea to the North Sound in Grand Cayman.

Launched in 2009, the Cayman Islands Open has again attracted the world’s top players, led by Malaysia’s world number one Nicol David, with Natalie Grainger, in-form Jenny Duncalf, and contenders Rachael Grinham and Alison Waters all in the mix. Grainger will be making her return to the WISPA Tour in Grand Cayman after a seven-month layoff with a foot injury.

Indeed, the draw predicts a quarter-final meeting between David and Grainger – a repeat of last year’s final, won by the Malaysian!

Meanwhile, Cayman number one Marlene West, the main draw wild card, faces the daunting prospect of meeting 2007 world champion Rachael Grinham in the opening round.

Tournament Director Dan Kneipp is delighted to be welcoming back the sport’s top women: “The Cayman Islands National Squash Association is extremely excited to host the world’s best players to our Caribbean Island.

“We are very pleased to be able to increase our WISPA World Tour championship to the Gold level. Cayman has never seen a pro tournament played on a glass show court, so we know that there will be a lot of enthusiasm and public interest as this is set up on the waterfront at Camana Bay.

“Having eight of the world’s top 10 squash players is creating an enormous buzz in Cayman as we prepare to watch the world’s best competing for our international title.

“The WISPA pros were a huge asset to our junior squash last year, helping hundreds of kids experience the sport for the first time,” Kneipp added. “We again have 14 schools that will be doing workshops and watching the pro matches and we expect this to be an invaluable tool in helping us get more Caymanian juniors into squash.

“The Cayman Islands National Squash Association also sees this as an incredible experience for our Commonwealth Games team as we prepare for Delhi 2010. For a young, amateur team to be playing alongside the world’s best professional will only add to our team’s experience and ability to compete at an international level.

“We welcome the world’s best players and the international squash media to the Cayman Islands in April.”

WISPA CEO Andrew Shelley added: “It is always very satisfying to see an event build, and that is certainly the case with the Cayman Islands Open. The debut last year was memorable for being awash with local school children trying squash at the South Sound Squash Club every day.

“This year juniors will doubtless be a major feature again, but bringing in a glass show court too in the superb outside setting of Camana Bay will be yet another great step forward in raising the profile of squash on the Island and pushing the delights of the Cayman Islands to squash enthusiasts worldwide.”

An all-glass court to be erected at Camana Bay

1st round draw:

[1] Nicol David (MAS) v Qualifier

[6] Natalie Grainger (USA) v Qualifier

[3] Rachael Grinham (AUS) v Marlene West (CAY)

[5] Madeline Perry (IRL) v Jaclyn Hawkes (NZL)

[8] Kasey Brown (AUS) v Samantha Teran (MEX)

[4] Alison Waters (ENG) v Qualifier

[7] Laura Massaro (ENG) v Qualifier

[2] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) v Camille Serme (FRA)

CWG 2010: India Adventure Blog

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Tales of India

DAY 1 (2 Oct 10)

After enduring an almost 6-hour flight, we were finally in Delhi! We arrived late evening on a Saturday and as we made our way to our comfy abode, we noticed the many buildings which were still under construction. The air was filled with dust and the traffic was chaotic with a symphony of honking.

We got onto Ram Nagar street where our hotel was situated but oh boy! There were at least 50 small hotels along that street. All of them with the exact lit up board, with only one differentiating factor – the name of the hotel. We finally made our way to a back alley, found our hotel and settled in for the night.

DAY 2 (3 Oct 10)

was on the itinerary. We picked up an American pro squash player from Bangladesh (go figure),Will Mather and his
better half, Rachal and headed off on our long 6-hour journey to the Pink City. All was well until our Tempo Traveller broke down midway! After being sheltered in the air-conditioned van, standing under the hot blazing sun with sand and dust blowing at our faces wasn’t exactly our idea of a holiday.

Turned out that our driver Ajeet had a bag full of skills. Without any hesitation, he grabbed his tools and got down to fixing the problem in our van while we wandered off to a complex nearby.

We visited a UNESCO World Heritage site – Jantar Mantar, a sophisticated observatory which housed the largest sundial in the world! It was amazing to see how technologically advanced people in India were centuries ago.

We strolled around the city awhile, seeing City Palace and Lake Palace and decided to call it a day.

DAY 3 (4 Oct 10)

Onwards to the Pink City! (Otherwise known as Jaipur)

Our day started off well with some good Indian breakfast. First stop for the day was Amber Fort, built by the Mughal kingdom. We were left in awe with the beautiful architecture of the fort which fused Persian, Hindu & Muslim design elements. Our elephant ride up to the fort gave us a feel of how things may have been in ancient times when animals were the main mode of transport.

At the Amber Fort

We were now set to move on to the next destination – Agra. Another 6-hour journey and we were in the state of Uttar Pradesh, home to Taj Mahal, the famous monument of love.

We didn’t do much else in Agra apart from moping for being ripped off during our meals with exorbitant prices.

DAY 4 (5 Oct 10)

The whole bunch of us were eager to get to Taj Mahal, the highlight of our tour! We started our day as early as 8am as  we set off to visit this former Wonder of the World.

The magnificent Taj Mahal

Needless to say, Taj Mahal was breathtaking! It was built by emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Begum and now houses tombs of them both. A pristine monument of love, the entire area was tranquil despite the buzzing visitors. It’s a definite must-see if you’re in Delhi or the surrounding areas.

We spent a good amount of time taking pictures and absorbing the array of overwhelming feelings that overcame us.

We moved on to the Agra Fort, which was used by the Mughal kingdom and where  Shah Jahan spent the last eight years of his life in exile, overlooking the Taj Mahal.

After days of eating Indian meals, we decided that we had enough and chose to go western at McDonald’s!


Til more updates, I’ll sign off with some interesting finds in India.

Fascinating Facts of India:

1) Most important functionality in a vehicle in India – horn.
2) Be prepared for bull & goat crossings.
3) Logistics takes on a whole other dimension.
4) A meal of plain bread and curry can cost up to Rs. 2000!  (Ripped off at tourist spots, of course)
5) Fast food is NOT fast (it took us approximately 20 minutes to get our food at McD’s)
6) The best chai (tea) is by the streets (starting at Rs. 7)

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