UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

Review of UK Racketlon Tour 2010

By The Events Committee

As we approach the year end it’s time to review the highlights of this year.  Let’s start with a few basic facts: 13 events with 4 events included as part of the World Tour. This year 46 ladies entered an event along with 286 men.  Congratulations to Niranjan Shimoga who played in 11 of the 13 events. Niranjan has obtained an excellent UK ranking and has improved in all sports.

New venues have established themselves on the tour at Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City.  Along with Redbridge we now have a number of venues in England that are possible venues for large World tournaments. The real drive for 2010 needs to be for more volunteers and venues in the North, however overall the progress is evident with more events and more players.

Jermaine Manners has deservedly ended the year at number 1 with consistently strong performances.  New faces in Class A have emerged in Alex Hartley, Carl Jennings, Jason Granville, James Treweek and more recently Ed Batson. Class A fields are now very strong and even to win one match is hard work! Christoph Krenn was crowned world champion last weekend and since he was a beginner at table tennis, badminton and squash 5 years ago, this shows us all what can be done with a bit of practice.

Class B has seen regular competition between Alan Rand,, Mark Johnson and Jonathan Healey.  It tends to be a very difficult category to predict with many new faces at each event. The strength was illustrated at the recent British Championships with ex Class A players Jeremy Krzystaniak and Dave Maynard competing the final.

Class C has been well represented through the year by Charles Eaton, Denny Jose and Dinesh Passi.  The growth in this category is excellent news for the sport and illustrates how friendly the sport is.  You only have to watch some of the class C matches to see the enjoyment as well as the competitive spirit.

Turning to the Ladies Jane Cook has captured the number 1 position on the latest rankings.  She has joined Natalie Lawrence on the world stage and even chose to compete in Mens Class B as preparation for the World Championships rather than try to win the British Championships recently.  This has led to Gemma Sgariglia entering and winning both events she has entered this year.  It will be interesting next year to see how Gemma progresses. Sarah Lochrie is another one to watch out for.

Steve Kneller is the top Veteran and this category is as much about World points as UK events.  Steve regularly travels on the World tour.  This category definitely has strength in depth with people like Dave Lazarus, Richard Whitehouse and Wingrove Manners all close behind Steve in the rankings.

Finally a great deal of thanks must go to all those people that help behind the scene and on the day at events.  In no particular order and extending this to all helpers: Dominique Ford, Keith Lesser, Richard Lawrence, Gary Tovey, Ray Jordan, Niranjan Shimoga, Rakesh Gupta, Stuart Foster, David Lazarus, Daniell Gillett, Jane Cook, Dianne Baker, Fiona Sime, Stuart Hobden, Andrew Hopwood, Paul Mantovani, John Garland, Mick Strode, Duncan Marlow and Brendan Carroll.  Without these people the events would not occur.

Thanks in particular to head of events (Dominique Ford), treasurer (Keith Lesser), rankings officer (Stuart Hobden), marketing, communications & development (Gary Tovey), head of IT (Richard Lawrence) and FIR rep Ray Jordan.

Here’s to a Merry Xmas and plenty of practice before the 2010 English Championships in January.