Nash Cup attracts Canada's best

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

Some of the top squash players in Canada are in London this week for the Nash Cup.

It is a Professional Squash Association super-satellite event being held through Sunday at the London Squash Racquets Club.

The event features a $6,000 purse with 28 professionals competing. It is being held in conjunction with the eighth annual NASHionals, featuring as many as 100 men and women in various age categories.

But the Nash Cup is a tour event that gives ranking points for the PSA.

"Players will be coming here to earn ranking points so they can use this to leapfrog in the rankings to make the main tour," said Richard Yendell, assistant professional at the London Squash Racquets Club, who will be competing.

"This is a big event not only for London but in Canada," he said. "The PSA is a professional tour, a world tour. We have guys here who are ranked as high as 68th in the world up to 250."

Fio Marin, the head pro at the club, said some people have trouble understanding how big this event is.

"Our community understands golf terminology," Marin said. "This is as big as the Nationwide Tour in golf (a step below the PGA Tour)."

"This is actually bigger than something like the Nationwide Tour," Yendell added. "It's like having some PGA professionals here, not all of them but some."

Some of the pros coming include David Phillips, ranked No. 10 in Canada, Robin Clarke No. 5, Andrew McDougall No. 8 and Ian Power ranked No. 9.

There is limited seating for spectators but they will see an intense, high-paced sport.

"The demands on your body and tremendous," Marin said. "People don't realize how fast, how demanding it is."

Yendell said London is an ideal location for an event of this nature. He went to Western and is coach of the high-performance provincial junior program. The London Squash Racquets Club also runs a high-calibre junior program.

"London is a squash hub because of the university crop of players," Yendell said.

Western, coached by Jack Fairs, has developed one of North America's top university squash programs.

For more information, contact the club at 433-0691.


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