My ABC (Aruba, Barbados and Curacao) Caribbean Promo Tour began in Barbados when I arrived on Sunday, welcomed by the Barbados Squash Association with a lovely dinner right by the water at the Pieces Restaurant at the Gap. I got to meet everybody that I have been in touch with to make this event happen–they are Craig Archer, Jeannette Cullen, Jonathan Gallacher plus the Barbados top players too.
Monday, 13th of June
I mentioned to the association that I’d love to check out the island and the beach so the mornings were left for me to do a local tour, and beach time at the hotel sponsored by Gavin Cumberbatch’s father’s hotel chain, Almond Beach Casurina Hotel. My personal local tour guide was Shawn Simpson (Barbados’ No.1 Men’s Player) . He took me around the West coast of the island to see the sights with more gorgeous beaches and lots more of what the island has to offer.
Conducted squash clinics with 17 juniors from the Barbados Junior Development Programme for 2 hours with a question and answer session. A number of potential players in the group that could be in the professional circuit someday.
Played Karen Meakins (Barbados’ No. 1 Women’s Player) in an exhibition match. Such a great turnout from the club members cheering for their local favourite. Inspired by the crowd, Karen brought her game up and really took it on from the start of the match and played some top winners in the third to take that game. I won 3-1 but the crowd was happy that she gave it her all.
Tuesday, 14th of June
Joined in a radio show at Slam 101.1 fm with Alex Jordan, one of the top Barbados women squash players who invited Gavin and me to be on her show. Fun experience and lots of people on the island had updates of the squash happenings going on.
Press conference on Barbados’ local channel at the squash club before part 2 of the clinics with the kids.
The finale of the event was an exhibition match with Shawn Simpson and another big crowd came back to the Barbados Squash Club for more squash action. Everyone was getting into the rallies and the energy was amazing with the crowd cheering on. Shawn started to flow better and played more shots in the third too. I won 3-1 but in a fun match that entertained the crowd. The whole event finished up with a question and answer session.
The Almond Beach Casurina treated us with a dinner at the hotel to mark the end of my stay in Barbados.
Thank you to the Barbados Squash Association for a fantastic time on the island and also the support of various sponsors and the Barbados Sports Council for making this all happen. Looking forward to be back on the island for a tournament sometime soon.
On the ‘Caribbean Heat’ Tour now which covers Aruba and Curacao so more updates to come!