Sheffield set to host “Wimbledon” of racketball this weekend with 150 players from around the world
Over 150 players from all over the UK and beyond are set to compete in the “Wimbledon of racketball” in Sheffield this weekend.
The first ever Bluebell Wood British Racketball Open marks a new milestone for one of the UK’s fastest growing sports. World and National squash and racketball champions are participating – with one calling the tournament the “Wimbledon” of their sport – alongside players from 13 to 78 years old.
All will compete for the biggest ever prizes in the history of racketball, while helping to raise vital funds for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Sheffield has become a hub for racketball.
“Easy to play, but hard to master,” the sport is played on a standard squash court but using a shorter racket and a bigger, bouncier ball. This makes hand-eye coordination easier than squash and the ball easier to strike so the game gives longer rallies.
Hosted at world-renowned tennis, squash and racketball club, The Hallamshire on Ecclesall Road, the Bluebell Wood British Racketball Open takes place on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 October.
Spectating is free of charge and the event is family-friendly. It will welcome some of the biggest names from racketball and squash, including Amber Marshall, Current British Racketball Champion and Nick Matthew, three times World Open and three times British Open Squash ChampionMark Fuller, Head of UK-Racketball, said: “The Bluebell Wood British Racketball Open is groundbreaking for the sport and for Sheffield. With the biggest prize money in racketball history, a record number of grades and a doubles grade for the for the first time in the history of a major racketball event, it has attracted players from all over the UK, and overseas making it a truly global event.
“We are thrilled to welcome over 150 entrants from 13 to 78 for the first ever Bluebell Wood British Racketball Open, which we believe will become the biggest racketball tournament in the world.
"This event could not take place without the help of The Templand Group, financially supporting the tournament to further promote the charity Bluebell Wood. It’s been such a difficult year for everyone, including sportspeople who love competing and charities which depend on fundraising events, so we are delighted The Templand Group has enabled the tournament to happen."
Three times World Squash Champion, Nick Matthew OBE said:"I’ve been looking forward to this event for a long time. Nowadays I’m on
the other side of the fence on the coaching side of things so it’s nice to get chance to compete again whether that’s squash or racketball.
"We have a great community of Racketball players at Hallamshire and many have either entered or will be down supporting the event.
"It’s set to be a great showcase for the club and the sport.”