Racketlon comes to New Zealand

posted Nov 29, 2013, 10:26 PM by Gina Connell
4 Racket Sport Event Hosted across the North Shore

Saturday 19th October saw the introduction of Racketlon to New Zealand. A racquets phenomenon which originated in Scandinavia is now being played worldwide with competitions held all over Europe, Canada and other parts of the world.. A full day event, consisting of four racket sports - tennis, badminton, table tennis and squash – with all competitors having to play all the sports in sequence.

It proved the perfect event for testing players’ hand-eye abilities on unfamiliar territory, most having only played one or two of the sports before. All arrived bright and early at the Albany Tennis Park on Saturday morning where they were greeted by a bacon sandwich and a briefing on the day ahead. All sports were played in men’s, ladies and mixed doubles pairings allocated into groups in which they would remain for the day – come what may!

Matches in each sport were scored to 21 but had a time limit of 15 minutes per match due to the booking times at each venue we had made. . The aim of Racketlon is to determine which pair has the best accumulation of points across all four sports against the  other pairs in their group. Therefore no one win ever decides a winner - every point counts until the final exchange is settled. 

The tennis started at 9am sharp with decent displays from the weekend warriors. As there is no North Shore venue with facilities available for all sports, players made their way to Badminton North Harbour for sport number two, and then onto North Harbour Table Tennis. Ahead of schedule at this point there was even time for a spot of lunch, physical (and psychological) recovery before the final round. 

The event concluded at North Shore Squash Club, where at close of play players advanced to the bar with a magnificent view of a sunny Lake Pupuke. Results were calculated, crowning the winners of each group. This produced a range of results with winners ranging from overseas Racketlon veterans (Chris Bright and Owen Mugridge winners of Men’s 1) and high level badminton players (Brock Matheson and Jennifer Doo winners of Mixed 1) to pairs made up of individuals with differing dominant sports (David Frank and Michelle Heron winners of Mixed 2). Results illustrated that the winning tactical approach is hard to pick. Winners of Men’s 2 were Glenn Cox and Kerrin Harrison (NZ badminton rep)  and Nikki Howlett and Marusa Pogcnik came out on top in the Women’s.

There was copious positive feedback on the day. Donelle Roberts, a teacher at Marina View School, said: “I had an absolutely wonderful day – it was great to catch up with old friends and to have the chance to make new ones. Loved all the sports – despite the lack of skill with most of them. Would be keen to take part in a similar set up again and am thinking about trying to play them on a recreational basis. The organisation was fantastic – everyone was very supportive and friendly! Loved having the last event at Squash – what a venue to sit and have a drink!”

 

Thanks goes to all those involved in the organising of the event and to all who played in the pilot and inaugural tournament, without you, the day would not have been possible.

 

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