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Last Sunday, December 11th, it was finally there. The final of the youth competition Division B, between All Inn 1 and ‘MeerSquash 1 in Utrecht. We had the advantage at home again, just like in the pool phase. In the group All Inn had lost to ‘MeerSquash, so we knew we had to work.

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The last training sessions were adapted to games and tactics, to make sure we were as good as possible. All Inn had shirts printed for that day and ordered cups for both teams. It’s the youth and therefore the future of squash, isn’t it? Both teams already suspected that no attention was paid to it from the union, so we took matters into our own hands.

MeerSquash once again came up with some greats. Hjalmar, Romeo and Elfi. All Inn played with Kellan, Gijs and Mohan, of whom the latter could only play two pots because of an injury and illness. Luckily his older brother Raven was willing to take care of the third game, even though we had to “give” that game to ‘MeerSquash. Afterwards it turned out that Romeo won nicely over Raven, so it was a deserved point. Two of those three had already made things very difficult for our boys last time and Romeo also proved to be a great opponent. It promised to be an exciting day.

We started on two courts, there are 9 games to be played, so there are no games and counting points etc. There will be a winner. One match went to All Inn and the other went to Meersquash. At a certain moment it was 1-1, then 2-2 and a bit later it was 3-3.

At 3-3 Dave Markus and I decided that we would continue on one track, the tension was unbearable. Romeo took Raven 3-0 and so Meersquash came on 4-3. Now it was Gijs’ and Hjalmar’s turn. Hjalmar got a 2-1 lead and was close to the decision, but Gijs fought his way back into the race and came 2-2 and eventually won 3-2. It was 4-4!

One more match, Kellan against Elfi. Kellan was the winner and won the decisive match, although it has to be said that there was a considerable age difference between the two. In one year, maybe two years, we will encounter Elfi already in the gamble I guess. One to keep an eye on. Each and every one of those kids delivered a top performance that day! Homage! All parents and trainers got a few years older that day, it was that exciting. Stephen King couldn’t have written it more exciting…

All Inn took the title, so handsome of those men and ‘MeerSquash was incredibly close to it’. We ended the day with of course a prize-giving ceremony, which ‘MeerSquash and All Inn have organized together. And for dessert of course a big bitter garnish…

Thank you to the parents, supervisors and trainers of ‘MeerSquash’, the parents, supervisors and trainers of All Inn of course and of course to those young talents of both teams, who are the future of squash. It was a very nice and exciting final!

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The Dutch squash ladies found their own way to the World Cup in Paris through a crowdfunding action independent of the Squash Bond Nederland (SBN). Through the campaign “Road to Paris” the squashsters tried to raise over €10.000,-. And this was possible thanks to the support of a hundred squash fans and main sponsor Sportunity and shirt sponsor Jasno. Is this what the future of sports and top-class sports culture will look like with the heavy weather that many sports federations are currently experiencing?

Milja Dorenbos, Milou van der Heijden, Natalie Grinham, Sanne Veldkamp and Tessa ter Sluit did not let themselves be known when they heard from the SBN that there were insufficient funds to send them to the World Cup. These ladies finished third at the last European Championships and with Nathalie Grinham, the former number two of the world in their ranks, this announcement was a huge surprise. However, the ladies decided to take action immediately.

One of the players took out a personal loan to at least pay the registration fee and to record the place of the squash ladies at the World Cup. They were convinced they wanted to go, all that was left was €10.000,- to sleep, train, eat and wear the orange colors. Many more ladies didn’t want and with Nathalie Grinham as playing coach that was also their guidance with which they were going to do it.

“Through new forms and movements that we see in sport, the sports federations are increasingly losing their grip on the athlete who has to represent them”.

At the beginning of September the squash ladies started their action “Road to Paris”, where they wanted to get one kilometer closer to Paris for every €10,- and thus the World Cup. In the end they had to travel 1035 kilometers to play in Paris. They succeeded and today they are playing at the World Championships! All this thanks to playful actions, clinics, photos and some partners who have given them a chance to play here.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

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