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Busy time . . . Timaru Squash Rackets Club president Vicky Rae. PHOTO: COURIER FILES

By Greta Yeoman

The Timaru Squash Rackets Club is set to undergo renovations before it hosts a trans-Tasman event along with two national events.

President Vicki Rae said the club’s Brunswick St facilities would undergo an upgrade ahead of the 2019 trans-Tasman masters test series, SquashNZ masters championships and inter-district masters teams event, being held from October 14 to 22.

This would include upgrading the toilet facilities and installing another toilet alongside a room to be used for drug-testing during the events. It was one of the requirements for the club hosting the events, Rae said.

The club received a $15,000 grant from the Timaru District Council earlier this month to put towards the $60,000 project, which would include installing toilets for the disabled.

Alpine Energy had also given an unspecified amount of money, she said.

“There’s quite a lot of work to be done.”

The club is set to host between 350 and 500 squash players from Australia and around New Zealand over the nine days of competition.

Hosting rights for the annual SquashNZ masters competitions rotate between the organisation’s 11 districts.

This year was Timaru’s turn, Ms Rae said.

Because those two national events were being held in Timaru, the 2019 trans-Tasman masters test series, which is held in New Zealand every four years, would also be held here.

“It just happened it was our turn [for] the [New Zealand] masters, so we tied them together.”

However, this task would involve the construction work, as well as organising a programme – including events and entertainment – for the players outside of game time, Rae said.

Evening events would be held at the Caroline Bay Hall as the group’s clubrooms were not able to hold that many people.

The nine-day programme of squash would begin with the trans-Tasman masters test series on October 14.

The New Zealand contingent was selected by national body SquashNZ. However, the individual masters championships were open to any grade of player aged over 35. The top two players in each masters age group were selected by their district to play in the inter-district masters teams competition.

Rae said she expected the Australian players would stay on for the national competitions.