Friday 20 July 2007

Packed UK autumn schedule - but not for women and London

The 2006 British Open, held in NottinghamJudging by the amount of post flooding through my letterbox from the iSportGroup, it seems that the autumn schedule of professional squash events in England is being heavily promoted.

The British Open, ATCO Super Series Finals, English Grand Prix, Wolverhampton Open and British Grand Prix being touted before the end of the year. There is also December's English Open, ran by Eventis Sports Marketing.

The regional hosting of these events will be great for the sport in the UK - the English Grand Prix is to be held in Birmingham, The Super Series Finals and the British Open to be held at what is increasingly the venue of choice, the National Squash Centre in Manchester, and the Wolverhampton Open bringing top-level squash to the Black Country.

Cynics will say that is it refreshing that the captial is not hoarding all the best events, and that a regional spread of competitions allows fans across the country to see the pros in action more regularly.

It is great to see so many events competing for status in the space of a few months, though as I have said in a previous post, fans in the south of the country find it difficult to attend many of these events, with London not scheduled to hold any more professional tournaments before the end of the year.

Wot no WISPA?

Another query is lack of events for women. Only the British Open and Wolverhampton Open have a women's competition. Based in London, I can't remember the last time I saw a professional women's match that was not an exhibition, shoe-horned into the finals' day of a men's tournament.

I hope to get to a couple of these events, though I wonder if the amount of ticketing information I am receiving by post and email is indicative of poor sales for some of the lesser-known events; the British Grand Prix, for instance, still appears to be looking for sponsors and has no dates and venue given. Some of the others have no information on which players have confirmed their appearance.

Gripes about the lack of London competition aside, I hope these regional events attract the support they need to bring squash to a wider UK audience.

1 comment:

  1. I never know why there can't be a super series for the women.....anybody?


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