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12/04/2024

The Nelson Mandela University Open squash tournament, which has been named a selection event for the student Worlds in Johannesburg in September, has attracted a star-studded national field.

 

Tournament director Jason le Roux, right, wishes Madibaz player Mike Donaldson good luck for the Nelson Mandela University Open squash tournament taking place at Crusaders Squash Club from Friday to Sunday. Tristen Worth will target his second title in three years at Crusaders in Gqeberha from Friday to Saturday.

The East London local, who has earned national colours, won in 2022 but did not return to defend his title last year.

However, with the event’s newfound status, he will be back for another shot at lifting the trophy annexed by Madibaz’ Warren Bower last year.

Madibaz Sport squash manager Theresa le Roux said they were thrilled to host a selection event for the University Sports South Africa team.

“It is fantastic to be chosen as one of the university tournaments where students have the opportunity to impress the selectors.

“And, from a Madibaz point of view, it is always good for our players to be exposed to squash at this level.”

The tournament had drawn more than 70 players, tournament director Jason le Roux confirmed this week.

The women’s section will also see a new champion being crowned as two-time defending champion and Mandela University alumnus Hayley Ward is competing abroad.

“We are extremely happy with the response from around the country,” Le Roux said. “An opportunity to be selected for the USSA team to play in the world championships is obviously a big incentive.”

The draw is headed by NWU colleagues Worth and Reuel Videler, who are both ranked in the top 10 in South Africa.

Other serious student contenders are Brett Mclachlan from Maties, Nikhil Pather from UP-Tuks and Dylan Niemack from NWU.

Mike Donaldson will lead the Mandela University contingent and Le Roux tipped him to cause some upsets.

Among the promising youngsters in the men’s field are EL-born Connor and Matthew Earl, both representing UP-Tuks.

He added that there was good support from players based in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Eastern Province No 1 Dean Venter would “definitely” feature among the top contenders, he said.

Other locals such as Gershwin Forbes, Sips Mpini (both former Madibaz players), Thomas Southway and Liam Ford will add additional spice to the men’s competition.

Zimbabwean national junior champions Braden Rayners (U19) and Brett Rayners (U16) will no doubt also add an exciting dimension.

The women’s field is slightly smaller but Le Roux predicted a high-quality contest.

Lara Patrick and Megan Shannon from UP-Tuks and Elske Garbers and Kyla Hartzenberg from North-West will be fired up to impress in terms of USSA selection.

There is also a strong local entry, headed by EP players Kacey-Leigh Dodd, Anlen Jarman, Bianca Keeley and Siya Hloyi.

Le Roux acknowledged the university’s role in supporting the tournament, which counts SA Home Loans and Action Sports as additional sponsors.

“We are also grateful to Crusaders for making their facilities available to us due to graduation taking place and the possibility of load-shedding,” he said.

Contact information
Mr Riaan Osman
Deputy Director
Tel: 041 504 2170
riaan.osman@mandela.ac.za