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48 world-class players to play Simon Warder tournament

Published on

Troy Shantz

The Simon Warder Memorial Prostate Cancer Squash Tournament is one of the only squash events in Canada at which spectators can watch the play in a 360-degree glass court, organizers said.

“It is a massive project completely done by volunteers,” said Kirsten Kilner-Holmes.

The court, which is constructed at Huron Oaks specifically for the tournament, offers a unique opportunity to see a week full of matches from every angle.

The event running Nov. 12 to 18 features 48 of the best squash players in the world from 21 different countries.

Another 88 local and regional players will have a chance to hit the court in the amateur tournament Nov. 17 and 18.

The seventh annual Simon Warder offers a prize purse of $20,000 U.S. ($26,000 CDN).

Organizers say the men’s and women’s division winners will qualify for the Professional Squash Association World Championships in Chicago in February.

Kilner-Holmes said the reputation of the Sarnia event continues to grow.

“Players have said this tournament is a premiere tournament,” she said, noting there was a registration waitlist. “The players are treated so well.”

To date, the tournament has raised $157,000, with all the money staying in Sarnia to benefit the community.

Most of the proceeds have gone directly to Bluewater Health and its Prostate Cancer Clinic.

Last year, $47,000 was raised and split between the Clinic and St. Joseph’s Hospice.

Organizers say the goal this year is to raise $40,000.

The event honours Sarnia’s Simon Warder, who was an accomplished player, referee, active member of Squash Canada and instrumental in forming the Sarnia Junior Squash Program. He passed away in 2011 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.

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