Samoa’s local and guest squash players were treated to an entertaining Saturday night to celebrate the end of the first squash open in 20 years.
Players from different countries mingled and ate together before being treated to a cultural performance of siva dancing, music, and a fire show in the courtyard.
Awards were handed out by the squash open organisers, Masoe Norman Wetzell and Paul Wright, with help from representatives of their major sponsors.
When it came time to announce the results of the men and women’s singles competitions, the winners were met with loud applause and oversized cheques, as well as hand-made trophies by Beau Rasmussen.
After the formal prizes were handed out, Paul Wright, a New Zealander and friend of the Samoa Squash Association handed out silly prizes as well.
This was awarded to Sera Speedy of Fiji, who “Missed” the most shots in her games. Sera is a new arrival to squash, having played her first games just a few months ago.
In her acceptance speech, winner of the women’s singles Nadine Cull said coming to Samoa was exactly what she needed.
“I said to my cousin Tina, we need to go somewhere, let’s get out of here.”
She was shown the Samoa Squash Open event on Facebook, and within a week and half they were booked to come and play.
Nadine had been in Samoa before for the 2010 Oceania Squash Masters and said she was once again blown away by Samoan hospitality.
“Plus you’re very good at squash,” she said.
Winner of the men’s singles, Joshua Larkin thanked the organisers for a great tournament.
He said he had been raised in the Mormon faith and felt like he fitted in Samoan company and had always wanted to visit.
Joshua said he looks forward to coming back.