Terrace claims top spots in squash tournament

Terrace players triumphed in all but one division at the recent Feel the Love squash tournament in Prince Rupert.

Terrace’s Steve Hawyes

Terrace’s Steve Hawyes

By Jackie Lieuwen and Bevan Hamilton

Terrace players triumphed in all but one division at the recent Feel the Love squash tournament in Prince Rupert, but the real victory is the relationships, says Terrace’s top player.

It was “a wonderful time of friendship, fitness and camaraderie!” said Terrace’s Steve Hawyes, who won first in the top Latin Lovers division at the tournament Feb. 17-19.

“Many friendships were rekindled and forged in hard earned sweat!” Hawyes added in his email.

He and his family emigrated here in early-2015 from South Africa, where they owned an elite squash training facility and played very competitively.

The Feel the Love tournament is aimed at strengthening the squash community in the north, and organizer Lee Beal said they emphasize fun and squash camaraderie.

“It’s all about feeling the love,” he told The Northern View newspaper in Prince Rupert.

Out of 38 players from Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers, a team of 12 players travelled from Terrace and won first place in four of the six divisions.

Terrace player Steve Hawyes won the most competitive Latin Lovers division, defending his title from last year.

His daughter Sibohan showed the family’s skill by winning the Deadpool division, and it was no difficult task for her. “She’s so good that she not only playing in an event that was predominantly men, but she annihilated each and every one of them,” Beal said.

In the Lion King division, Terrace’s Andy Leighton, a newcomer to the sport, claimed first and Beal said he is the closest thing you’ll find to a kamikaze squash player.

“His never-say-die attitude saw him diving for balls and putting his body on the line each and every rally,” said Beal.

Newcomer Mike MacIntosh, who is from Kitimat but trains with the Terrace players, won the Cupid event, and his wife Jen took third in the ladies Betty Boop division.

Terrace ladies Jill Pimlott and Patricia Cisneros swept first and second in the ladies Betty Boop.

The final event was the novice Romeo and Juliet division and was won by Colleen Markides of Prince Rupert.

Terrace’s Steve Hawyes said the tournament “was hugely successful,” and added “a huge shout out” to Lee Beal and his fellow organizers, as well as thanks to Prince Rupert community.

“Every participant went away truly able to say that they “Felt the Love” …… albeit with some very weary muscles!” Hawyes said.