Iceland recently hosted its first ever Women’s International Squash Players’ Association event. The ‘Icelandair Group Classic’ was held in Reykjavik at the end of September and was won by British national Dominique Lloyd-Walter.
As a part of a new initiative to encourage women’s international squash across the world, WISPA has agreed to organise prize money in countries which have never hosted WISPA events. Local organisations have only to support the costs of organising an event.
Iceland’s event was supported by the Icelandair Group. The Icelandair Group Classic was held at the Veggsport Squash Club in Reykjavik. Players were welcomed by Chairman of the Icelandic Squash club, Hilmar Gunarson.
Players from eight countries, including Iceland, competed for $14,000 in the Icelandair Group Classic field. Iceland’s Rosa Jonsdottir competed against New Zealand’s Jaclyn Hawkes.
Prior to the event, Hawkes, who is ranked 20th internationally said: “I am very excited about playing in Iceland this week and hopefully getting a chance to look around and see a bit of the country. Of all the places that I’ve played tournaments over the years, I would say that I’m looking forward to this experience the most.”
Unfortunately Hawkes was defeated in the semi-finals by British rival Sarah Kippax. Kippax herself fell in the finals to British player Dominique Lloyd-Walter. Lloyd-Walter had pulled out of the British Open earlier in the month and was nursing an ankle injury, making it difficult for her to train for the event in Iceland.
“It wasn’t so much the blister but the taping restricting my movement a little and it was slipping until I fixed it. I was thinking more about that than my game early on,” she said about her ankle injury. “I have never won a tournament this big so I am really, really pleased,” she said.
Lloyd-Walters has participated in three WISPA World Tour finals and won every one.
WISPA was founded in 1983 and originally was known as the Women’s Squash Players Association. The group aims to enable more females to pursue a career in squash though the establishment of a world tour.