As well as the Squash – which there’s lots of – there are always some stories to be told at ETC events.
#5 Super Court Girls
There’s a lot of unsung heroes at squash tournaments, but it was great to see the two sisters who were looking after court maintenance duties for the four days get recognition at the end of the tournament.
Sisters Marlieue and Mols Eicke were there for twelve hours a day, sweeping the floors and cleaning the walls after every game, and sprinting onto court when required during the match, always with smiles on their faces.
After a couple of prods from me to go looking for marks on the photo section of the front wall, they never needed prompting again, and not once did they leave smears on the glass, which often happens trust me. They also lent me one of their sweatshirts to rest my elbow on when I was taking those deep back corner shots.
In their spare time they made sure they got most of the top players to sign their t-shirts.
Their last time on court came when they were brought on during the closing ceremony, a really nice touch and thoroughly well deserved. Oh, and apparently they’re pretty good players too, so you might be seeing them back on court sooner than you think …
#4 National Student Champs
It started small, with a 16-player mixed draw, the early rounds of which were played at the Squash Time club earlier this week, and on Day Three the finalists got to play on the all-Glass court at Klokgebouw.
The winner was Ireland’s Scott Gillanders, with Frank Goosens second and Roel Zouageman in third (more photos in the Day Three Gallery).
They all had great fun, and it’s another new initiative by SBN which can only grow … stay tuned !
#3 Wheelchair Racketball, Anyone ?
On Day Two the crowd at Klokgebouw were treated to an unusual exhibition match between Marc Veldkamp and Robin Ammerlaan – as the MC put it, one of them being a true sporting legend, the other … let’s just say not to save Marc’s blushes.
Marc is former technical directer of the Dutch Squash Federation (SBN) – he organised the World Juniors here in Eindhoven in 2015 – and is now, among other things, Sales Executive at Interactive Squash (there’s an interactive wall at the venue, which is in almost constant use) and more than just a keen player having just been crowned Dutch National Champion at his age group (considerable, that’s all you’re getting).
Robin is a Paralympic Champion in Wheelchair Tennis (Athens ’04), is one of the National Coaches for the sport, still plays squash twice weekly, and is active with the WSF in promoting wheelchair squash (check out his YouTube video).
So, in between two final group matches, and as part of a deal celebrating the agreement for Decathlon NL to become official clothing partner of SBN, Marc and Robin showed us their Racketball skills.
#2 That’s Me There !!
The venue (more on that later) has been decorated with a number of large poster boards featuring form ETC players and Champions …. so we set out to match as many as we could with their posters, and asked them to to replicate the pose ! See how they all did …
#1 Ukranian Special Delivery
Ukranian Special Delivery
The women’s team headed for Eindhoven for their Division Two campaign, but meanwhile their new playing kit was being delivered to … SquashLand !
With just one day to go – and on a Bank Holiday in Slovenia – there were no carriers who could get the shipment to Eindhoven in time.
So Marijana, wife of SquashLand owner Goran took the decision to drive to Zagreb and catch a hastily-booked flight to Amsterdam.
Meanwhile Ukranian men’s #1 Valerii Fedoruk took the train from Eindhoven to Schipol Airport, met Marijana and took the kit back to Eindhoven just in time for the opening ceremony, where Ukraine – looking splendid – were the first team to be invited onto court by ESF President Hugo Hannes.
Dedication to the cause or what ! Well done Marijana, who got home at midnight on Wednesday – we hope Goran had something special waiting for you !!
(and thanks to Slovenian ref Marko Podgorsek for the story)