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Top competitors at squash tourney
Hard-fought matches at Midnight Sun Recreation Complex

Shawn Giilck
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chris Gilmour knows how it feels to be squashed by a Spider.

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Inuvik's Chris Gilmour, foreground, lost a hard-fought match to Spider Jones of Yellowknife at a squash tournament Feb. 1 at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex. - Shawn Giilck/NNSL photo

Gilmour lost a tightly fought squash match to Spider Jones of the NWT Squash Board Feb. 1 at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex. It was one of the highlights of a tournament organized by local players to give the game a higher profile in the under-used facilities at the complex.

Results of the tournament were not immediately available.

"I've lost to Spider before," a sweat-soaked Gilmour said following the match. "It's a heck of a workout, I can tell you that. He makes you work for every point."

"I had the best seat in the house," Jones chipped in with a grin. "Even when I lose to Chris, I have the best seat."

"I've been fortunate to play against Spider several times in about the last eight years," Gilmour said. "We're fortunate to have him come up and run clinics. We always learn something, that's for sure, and it's always fun."

"It's amazing how squash here in Invuik has jumped up another couple of levels with guys like Chris and Brandon Johnston," Jones said. "It's huge how we're getting more kids through, and men and women. It's just a phenomenal time for squash here in Inuvik."

Gilmour concurred with that analysis.

"We have a marvellous opportunity here," he said. "The courts are wonderful and in great condition. The challenge is just in getting more people to come out. I think we're at the point now where, after this tournament, where we've gotten pretty much everyone together, that we can continue on with the momentum and enthusiasm to get more people playing on a regular basis."

Gilmour said there's a core group of more than 20 people who play regularly. Jones called that a "huge number" for Inuvik, where the sport has been on the fringes of catching on in a big way for some years.

"There's been a lot of time and effort put into organizing this tournament, and it really shows," Gilmour said.

He began playing regularly about eight years ago, he said, just before he moved to


"Since then I've been trying to continue playing, with a little time off for raising children," Gilmour said. "I'm back at it regularly now.

"There's a huge appeal to it, and it's a great workout, and a chance to be active for all of your life," he added. "You certainly feel it the next day."

Brandon Johnston, one of the two chief organizers, said "we really want to build interest in the sport around here.

"We've got beautiful facilities, and they're not being utilized to their full potential," he said. "Throwing tournaments like this helps to grow interest, and having Spider up from Yellowknife to help beginners is good as well."

Johnston said he thought the courts could easily handle "30 or 40" regular players. He's particularly interested in developing a youth base.

"We want to work toward a junior program, especially with the possibility of a Canada Games coming to Yellowknife in 2024," he said. "It's great for fitness and a lot of fun and camaraderie."

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