A trio of Squamish residents are heading to England to take on some of the best squash players in their respective age groups.
Steve Jacobs, along with Mona and Don Gunn will be competing in the World Masters Squash Championships in Birmingham, England from July 20 to 27 and the Gunns are looking for fun on and off the court.
“We’re going over there mostly to have fun,” Mona Gunn said. “We’ve never been to England before and we’re also going to be doing some wandering around before we play, because the Gunn family originally comes from Scotland.”
Mona will be competing in the 70 plus female division, while Don will be looking for success in the men over 80 category. Squash has become the sport of choice for the past several decades for the duo.
“Don started when he was 52 and now he’s almost 82,” she said. “And I started when I was 49 and now I’m 76.”
She said the couple have been members of the Squamish Squash Club almost from the club’s inception and that the game offers many benefits.
“You can play anytime, rain or shine,” she said. “It’s not that expensive of a sport and you can get a good workout in a short period of time. It’s not like golf when you’re out there for four or five hours and all you’ve done is some walking.
We’ve always involved with racquet sports. We played badminton and Don played a lot of tennis. We just love racquet sports. I played fast pitch until I was 49 and just didn’t have the time to play squash until I retired from that.”
Back in 2001, the Gunns travelled to Australia to compete in that year’s masters championships, with Mona winning her division and Don placing fourth. They’ve also regularly taken part in the local Sea to Sky squash tournament, as well as tournaments in Toronto and Calgary. Gunn said that Jacobs should have a good chance to succeed in his division.
“He’s already left and is visiting some family in Ontario before going to England,” she said. “I think he should rank pretty well in the 55 plus division.”
Gunn noted that there are 765 athletes from all over the world descending on England, with 24 coming from Canada. She also said the local squash club is always looking for members and encouraged everyone to give the sport a shot.
“I’d say just go for it,” she said. “Once you try it you will realize what you can get out of it. The learning curve isn’t too bad and there’s lots of people in the club that can give you a hand.”
To follow Jacobs and the Gunns in England, visit www.squashworldmasters.com