ECHUCA-MOAMA will compete in a squash tournament, named after one of the sport’s most successful athletes, at the end of the month.
More than 20 clubs from across Victoria and New South Wales will vie for the Geoff Hunt Perpetual Shield in the brand new inter-town competition, starting February 25.
World renowned squash champion Hunt was in Albury recently to launch the competition.
Hunt is an Australian Sports Hall of Fame member, having won 178 of 215 tournaments he contested between the late 1960s to early 1980s. Only Australian champion Heather McKay has a better record.
Contesting the tournament from the Victorian side of the border will be Albury Commercial Club, Benalla, Cohuna, Corowa, Echuca-Moama, Milawa-Beechworth, Shepparton GV Squash/Numurkah, Wodonga, and Yarrawonga-Mulwala from Victoria.
While Leeton, Griffith, Hay, Deniliquin, Coleambally, Finley, Cowra, Wagga Wagga CSU, Temora, Cootamundra, and Young will represent New South Wales.
The winning team from this year will hold onto the Geoff Hunt Perpetual Shield until it is won by another side.
Squash and Racquetball North East Victoria spokesman Kevin Quick said the competition had been a year in planning before the launch.
‘‘We’re definitely looking forward to it now - it’s the single most significant competition that has been in regional squash for some time.
‘‘It was born out of coincidence actually because as we were planning amongst ourselves to get this off the ground, there was a bunch of clubs around that were thinking of doing the same at the same time,’’ he said.
Quick said getting former Australian champion Hunt onboard with the idea could not have been easier.
‘‘It was very simple actually, we just emailed him and he said yes he’d be onboard with us, and that was that.
‘‘He was very open to helping out with local squash,’’ Quick said.
Quick said the best way to get involved in the competition would be to contact the local squash club, where they will ‘‘be only too happy’’ to sort out a team for a keen player.