Bob Tkachuk capped off a perfect day on the court here Friday, defeating Dave McPherson 3-1 in the ‘A’ side final of the annual Boxing Day men’s squash tournament.
Tkachuk and McPherson both cruised through the 14-player field with identical 3-0 records before facing each other in the final.
It was the second tournament win in three years for Tkachuk, who lost 3-2 in last year’s final to Paul Avis.
On the ‘B’ side, Ben Andrusco downed Cam Moorhouse by a 3-1 score in the final.
Tkachuk, who helped organize the tournament, said it attracted a good turnout of players, the majority of whom either live here or make the trip back for the Christmas holidays.
“With 14 [players], we were just two short of the maximum 16 so it was a good turnout,” noted Tkachuk, who helped start the annual tournament here about 16 years ago.
Last week’s tournament also was a good warm-up for many local players who will be making the trip to the elite Manitoba Pro Am event Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Winnipeg.
Still, while squash continues to be a popular sport here with many adults, Tkachuk said the local club would like to see more youngsters pick up a racquet and learn to play the game, which has seen a steady rise in popularity across the country.
To increase the sport’s exposure, Tkachuk has helped start a junior squash clinic for kids aged 10 and older with no previous experience, as well as a clinic/tournament for those aged 12-15 with some playing experience.
Both clinics were slated today, with the intention to begin a junior squash league by the first week of January.
“Right now we have about 10 kids registered, and what we want to do is try to develop the program so we get the younger people involved,” Tkachuk said.