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Squash stars to help Bajans

Gercine Carter

Squash stars to help Bajans

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Retired?American real estate developer Dwight Platt is giving Barbadian squash players the opportunity to improve their game at the state-of-the-art Green Monkey Squash Court he built at his Sandy Lane home.
Platt describes squash as an “egalitarian” game and says it was his goal to help people here enjoy the sport.
This is why he brought some of the world’s top hard ball squash doubles players and coaches here last month for exhibition matches and clinics, so that Barbadian players could be exposed to techniques and performances that would serve to enhance their play.
He told SUNSPORT:?“American doubles squash does not exist outside North America”, a factor which spurred him to build the first court for this particular form of the game outside North America.
Australians Alan Gould and Damien Mudge, the world’s top hardball doubles players, competed against Britain’s highly ranked Chris Walker and Mark Chaloner in fast-paced exhibition matches at the Green Monkey court which left members of the Barbados Squash Association (BSA)?and well known competitors, like Cumberbatch brothers Rhett, Gavin and Bryant, and Shawn Simpson in awe.
“I brought [the international] players here to show local players what the game can be like,” Platt said.
BSA’s vice-president Orson Simpson said the Green Monkey Squash Court “has given a different dimension” to the game locally.
“Barbados has won medals in the Pan American Games though we do not have a hardball doubles court. This court will certainly enhance our capability in the doubles game. It will help our players become more proficient,” Simpson told SUNSPORT.
And the man who made it possible, Dwight Platt, said he was merely trying to help Barbados’ squash players in an area that has been his “lifelong passion”.
For Australian Ben Gould, ranked No.1 in the world, the experience of teaming up with his compatriot Damien Mudge (the two are regarded as the world’s top squash players) for the exhibition matches in Barbados was “just great”.
Gould said he had just finished the professional season in the United States where he and Mudge are based and he relished the opportunity Platt afforded him to play the game outside North America for the first time ever.