HKCC Raises Money, Opens Junior League, and Participates Wing Ding Tournament

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The Hong Kong Cricket Club is geared up for December. Every member knows it’s a month full of activities and fun. One of them is the annual Operation Santa Claus event, which is geared toward raising money for the said Charity as well as the annual Wing Ding tournament. Not to mention the Junior Summer League, which awed a lot of pros and parents during the event as teens and squash ball boomers showcased their vigorous moves to earn the much coveted Junior Summer League title.

Prior to the official Wing Ding tournament, the HKCC had their own mini Wing Ding tournament and they were able to gather over HKD 10,000. The said event was spearheaded by Lorenz Zimmerman and Mike Openshaw who both did a magnificent job in handling the overall activity.

They then sponsored a team who swung, ran, and smashed squash balls enthusiastically in their colorful uniforms to help raise fund for the Charity. The tournament, dubbed as Wing Ding tournament, is observed annually in order to keep Operation Santa Claus running, and it commenced last 23rd of November this year. For those who are not quite familiar with the Charity, it all started when a physically disabled employee at the Urban Council Squash Center named Yuen Kam-Wing or Wing died in 1998. Due to his impeccable servitude for the council, a meager sum of money is being raised yearly. For the past few years, specifically since 2003, the said tournament has already collected HK$ 6,089,072.82 for the charity, Operation Santa Claus. So far, the biggest contribution that Wing Ding tournament gathered amounted to HK$ 1,814,209 in just one afternoon of squash ball games in 2012. While the club is still waiting for the overall amount of money raised during this year’s tournament, a lot of them are hopeful that it’d be as fruitful as the past year.

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As mentioned, the club really has a calendar full of activities this year as it also had its Juniors Team participated in the annual Hong Kong Squash Summer League as Juniors Team in Division 10. Furnished with energy, skills, and talents, HKCC’s finest juniors actively participated in the league, which lasted for ten weeks. The team was taken from the club’s Junior Development Program. The club has already been providing the kids with ample support and learning for squash ball games. The team was led by Andrew Ho, the Junior Captain, and Eleanor Sackett, the Ladies Captain.

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The club is also holding teens’ disco, caroling activities, and family festive lunch buffet for several days this month.

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Mudge, Gould win PDC Cup

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The Squash Doubles Association held its fifth season this year, in which the title was bagged by Damien Mudge and Ben Gould during the Piedmont Driving Club Cup this year. It was also their second triumph over world’s No 5 Manek Mathur and Yvain Badan. During the second iteration of the said club cup, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia, four seeds, Matt Jenson and Preston Quick were smashed down by unseeded Jonny Smith and Greg Park. In the same event during its second semifinal row, world No 4 Paul Price and world No 3 Clive Leach were eliminated by three seeds Mathur and Badan. Mathur and Badan also eliminated two seeds. Indeed, the games were full of surprising ups and downs when world title holders are matched up.

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Going back to Budge and Gould’s triumphant comeback, it should be remembered that they lose in their first game during the Big Apple Open. Nevertheless, they got up and returned to their unstoppable 3-0 winning ways, which eventually paved their way to the fifth title in 2013-2014 tournaments.

Meanwhile, the second major seeded score of the season was gathered by Smith and Park, who were both unanticipated semifinalists of the PDC event. Unfortunately, Smith and Park were no bout for the Aussies’, Mudge and Gould, swiftness and vigor as they were fazed off in a score of 15-6, 15-8, and 15-9 during the semifinals.

Before the game ended a rematch between two seeds Price and Leach and three seeds Mathur and Badan took place. The said scenario is somewhat a reminiscent of what happened to Big Apple open when world No’s 3, 4, and 5 competed. But it’s different during the PDC as Mathur and Badan hastily advanced to the second final of the season with only three games having the scores 15-9, 15-12, and 15-10.

Flawlessly, the pair swung their way to the finals, bagging the second PDC cup title in three games with the following scores: 15-10, 15-10, 15-5. Incredibly, Mathur and Badan collected six more points during this Cup compared to their Big Apple Open performance.

This year’s Piedmont Driving Club Cup has an increase of cash prize from $20,000 last year to $30,000 this season.

The Philadelphia Country Club is dubbed to be the next stop of Squash Doubles Association (SDA) Pro Tour. Nevertheless, we won’t be seeing the new champs this time as they will fight for the US Open Squash Doubles Championships, which has a pot prize of $25,000.

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Model Pia Trivedi weds squash player Ritwik Bhattacharya

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Pc0230600While 2013 is finally saying adios in a few weeks or so, 2014 is drawing closer and loaded with tons of surprises for all of us, especially our squash superstars. It has been reported that model Pia Trivedi has finally bid goodbye to her singlehood as she weds Ritwik Bhattacharya in September. Such celebration shows everyone that clearly, Ritwik, is much more renowned for his arm candies and girls rather than his ranking in the field of squash.

Rumors circulate like wildfire in the entertainment world and no matter how the couple, Pia and Ritwik, hides their wedding ceremony; they just couldn’t hold the smoke longer. Talks about the couple tying the knot started to emerge early September this year. On the one hand, prior to the news about the hush-hush wedding, people are not doubtful that the couple would hide the real status of their relationship as Ritwik is particularly cautious in divulging his private life in public. It should be remembered that he didn’t publicly declared about his relationships with ex-Neha and his current relationship Pia as it could shift the people’s attention from his sport, squash, to his personal life. Talks about marriage with Pia didn’t even emanate from him some time ago. Nevertheless, we weren’t surprised when Pia and Ritwik’s supposedly intimate engagement leaked. From the very start, Ritwik almost always had poses with arm candy, Pia, with actions that scream love rather than friendship.

Going back to their wedding, talks about a white wedding ceremony are gathered with the planned date to fall on the last week of September. A white wedding ceremony has become a customary form of wedding in almost all parts of the world when Queen Victoria wore an elegant, white wedding dress in 1840 instead of the customary, heavily garnished, layered wedding gown in white and silver threads. Queen Victoria’s white gown was a deviation of a typical royal wedding that time, but it did not disappoint as every bride looks amazingly breathtaking in such apparel. Definitely, Pia Trivedi would also look gorgeous in such wedding dress. Meanwhile, white wedding dresses are a trend because of three major reasons. One, it makes the bride stand out during the ceremony. Second, white stands for purity and cleanliness. Third, white wedding gowns are aplenty and accessible both in online and offline shops. TheGreenGuide, an online bridal dress store, has gained the honor to tailor both wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses for the couple, according to the words from a close friend to Pia.

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Northampton Celebrates Final College Squash Week

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The first week of the month had been a busy week for Northampton colleges as they celebrated the final season of College Squash Week. College students from various universities and colleges Northampton, Massachusetts, were pitted against each other to smash their way to earn the pinnacle spot of the squash ball events. Here’s a recap to what happened last week.

Tuesday marked a myriad of high intensity events as Crimson squads bagged the trophy against the Big Green while Harvard was hosted by Dartmouth. It is also in the same day when Boston College was defeated by the Northeastern Men and Huskies were defeated by the BC women. There was only one match on the following day which was highlighted by Princeton’s triumph over Drexel. Thursday had a number of matches led by Quakers which was the  prevailing team in the score of 5-4. Prior to the game, Navy hosted Penn and showcased an intense fight that was really close while Dartmouth faced F&M in Lancaster. On the one hand, the Diplomats got a score of 7-2 and won while Big Green continued to take charge in the women’s match earning 8-1. The week was even made more exhilarating come Friday as it was full of matches commenced. First off, we have Yale in which both of its male and female teams defeated Amherst and Williams. Secondly, Ontario overpowered Brown while Bobcat squads garnered a 7-2 wins. Dartmouth, on one hand, was taken over by Navy in a score of 4-5. The Hamilton male team toppled Hobart in an 8-1 score, which consequently led to the victory of Harvard squads over Boston College and Drexel. On Saturday, Bates knocked out Tufts while Bard and Bryant were both overpowered by MIT and the Boston College. The women’s team from Princeton won against George Washington while the Connecticut College women smashed Rochester with a score of 7-2.

Also the highlight of the week was the hosting of round robin events. Let’s start at Wesleyan Round Robin where William Smith and Wellesly were beaten by Mount Holyoke and Smith defeated by Wesleyan. Nevertheless, Mount Holyoke came out as the champ when it defeated Wesleyan in a 5-4 score on Sunday. Aside from that, Brown was also flocked with several squash ball teams. Sadly, it was defeated by Drexel men and Wesleyan men, but in quick turn of events, crushed Northeastern, which was also defeated by Drexel and Wesleyan. Round robins were also apparent in Middlebury where Bowdoin and Colby were smashed by Panthers, the host. The women’s Middlebury team won over St. Lawrence in a slim score gap of 5-4 while the men’s team was defeated by the Saints.

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Willstrop’s Unstoppable Performance in Recent Hong Kong Game

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It seems that the renowned Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Cup, which was held in Hong Kong, unleashed the untamed tiger in every athlete, especially those who smashed their opponents. One of them was James Willstrop, a 30-year old squash ball player from England. He beat his 22 year old opponent, Mohamed Elshorbagy in an intense and spectacular game that ran for 2 hours or so.

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In an interesting turn of events, James Willstrop dramatically defeated Elshorbagy, Egyptian, during the recent Hong Kong match as he was previously pitted against the same opponent a month ago. Unfortunately, he lost during that game, the PSA World Championship held in England.

It was Elshorbagy who took charge of the event during the first half of the game, a familiar scene during their previous match, the PSA World Championship. Nevertheless, he made sure to claim the pinnacle spot this time as he unleashed his full force to smash Elshorgaby to his feet, reaching the game to a draw. Within 39 intense minutes, Wilstrop made sure to exhaust everything he can to come up with a good game decider, and he didn’t disappoint himself. Eventually, he took charge of the game and consequently garnered an outstanding score of 9-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 20-18 after 2 hours and 2 minutes of playing powerfully with his younger opponent. As per record, the current match was the longest Elshorgaby had ever played in his entire career.

Despite the fact that Wilstrop has been a household name in the world of squash balls since he became a full time pro in 1999 and even ranked World 1, he admitted that the game was quite tough to pursue. He even added that it was really challenging and he needed to refuel himself in the next 24 hours. Wilstrop also considered the game a hard feat as neither of the players took charge in every game unlike his previous challenges. He made mention that his younger opponent is one who knows how to put up a good fight. Nevertheless, he never let the scores and all other factors upset him as he loaded himself with positive thoughts all throughout the event.

It should be remembered that James Wilstrop is a former World No 1 who slowly skidded to the sideways, yet returned to the top spot after defeating the young Egyptian. On the one hand, the game was held in an all-glass show court at Hong Kong Cultural Center in Tsim Tsa Tsui harbor front.

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