Below is the second installment of our new USA Racketlon Newsletter. If you have any feedback or stories to share for next month, please let me know! Enjoy!
September was a busy month in the racketlon world! Multiple USA players participated in tournaments across the world. FIR announced a preview of the 2020 World Tour. The World Championships tournament is evolving and expanding.
FIR officially announced our new USA Racketlon president. USA Racketlon has been working behind the scenes on establishing a governing body, focused on helping to develop and grow the sport of racketlon here in the United States. Below are some of the highlights from the month of September and what to look at for in the coming months.
IWT Finnish Open September 13th-15th (Finland)
American all-star, Katrin Maldre, paired up with Anna-Klara Ahlmer from Sweden at the IWT Finnish Open. Katrin and Anna won the Women’s A – Elite Doubles draw. Anna went on to take first in the Women A – Elite Singles event and second in the Mixed A – Elite Doubles event. Katrin is entered to play in the IWT Malta Open this weekend, playing Women’s B – Amateur Singles and Mixed B – Amateur Doubles. Good luck Katrin! (Pictured below are Anna-Klara and Katrin in the middle surrounded by the 2ndand 3rdplace Women’s doubles teams)
Drummondville Tournament September 20th -22nd (Canada)
Last weekend, Racketlon Canada held a fantastic tournament in Drummondville, Quebec. This new event was run by Nathalie Lamonthe from Deloitte with the support of Patrick Laplante. For this tournament, squash was replaced by pickleball! The U.S.A was represented well! Brand new players, James Terzian (Buffalo, NY) and Dave Smith (Syracuse, NY) medaled in two events. They came in first and second for the Men’s C singles event and as a pair came in second for the Men’s B doubles event. Additional medals were taken home by Justin D’Antonio (Syracuse, NY) and Dominique Canale (Syracuse, NY). Justin and Dominique won their third straight Mixed A Doubles event. Dominique also won the Women’s A Singles event after beating Helen Dube by one point and Line Bellarose by +11. Andy Stenson (Easthampton, MA) came in third place in the Men’s A Doubles event with partner Jeremy Easterbrook from Canada. New player, Jonathon Matros (Long Island, NY) competed in both Men’s B Singles and Men’s A doubles.
(Pictured below are James, Dave, Dominique, Jon and Justin)
(Pictured below are Justin and Dominique holding their 1st Place Mixed Doubles Medal)
(Pictured below are Line (2nd Place), Dominique (1st Place) and Helen (3rd Place) for the Women’s A singles and tournament director Nathalie Lamonte)
(Pictured below are James and Dave with their medals with tournament director Nathalie Lamonte)
New USA Racketlon President
In September, FIR announced that former USA Racketlon President and Massachusetts Racket Masters organizer, Andy Stenson was handing over the reins as president to Patrick Moran. Pat was last years’ Team USA Captain at the year end World Championships. Check out the FIR article about Pat and what he has in store for USA Racketlon in the future: Pat Moran – New Racketlon President
USA Governing Body
As part of the commitment to develop USA Racketlon, a governing body has been established. This group is focused solely on bringing awareness and opportunities to racketlon players across North America. We would like to formally introduce the new USA Governing Body!
Dominique Canale – Head of Marketing and Social Media
Justin D’Antonio – Head of Sponsorship
Shona Kerr – Head of Player Development
Patrick Moran – USA Racketlon President and Captain of Team USA
Emil Patel – Head of International Affairs
Andy Stenson – National Tournament Director/ Canadian Liaison
Keep an eye out on the USA Racketlon website (USA Racketlon website) for more information about our governing body and additional contact information.
Player Spotlight – Emil Patel
This month we caught up with USA Racketlon player, Emil Patel. Emil is the current Head of International Affairs for USA Racketlon and two-time National Team USA member. Here is a little info about Emil and his racketloncareer.
Emil is originally from Hanover, New Jersey and currently lives in Helsinki, Finland! This NYU graduate lived in NYC for 10 years before moving to Finland (one of racketlon’s founding countries). Emil has been a professional poker player since college and moved to Finland after internet poker became illegal in the States.
We asked Emil how he found out about racketlon -no surprise here- Emil found out about racketlon through a bet! Other than having a table tennis table in his basement, he had very little experience in any of the sports. Since 2016, Emil has played in 19 FIR tournaments across Europe and North America. His favorite tournament is King of Rackets in Belgium. Fun fact, Emil injured himself during his first trip to King of Rackets and a Belgian player/doctor stitched him up on the spot. Emil commented on the tournament saying, “it’s super well organized, has fantastic facilities including excellent Belgian beer!”
For someone with so much experience on the international tour, we asked Emil what is most surprising about the other players. “The most eye-opening thing about players on the international tour isn’t so much seeing the players’ strong sports but rather how versatile these elite players are in all four sports.”
Emil recommends that all players, new and experienced, work on your weakest sports. He has found that table tennis and squash are generally the easiest to improve at. “Join a local club and start playing competitively so you get used to competing against different styles of players, etc.” Emil is taking his own advice and joined a local squash club (Smash-Squash) in Helsinki which he hopes will help him improve his game. Keep an eye out for Emil at the World Championships in November!
Please share any recommendations for future featured players with Dominique Canale at firstname.lastname@example.org
· IWT Swedish Open (October 11-13): This tour level tournament is held in Stockholm Sweden for the first time in seven years. Enskede Rackethall in Stockholm is considered one of the greatest racketlon venues in the world. Online entry closes soon – Monday September 30th.
· IWT French Open (October 25-27th): Don’t miss your chance to warm up before the year-ending World Championships at the IWT French Open. The event is held in the city of Paris. Entry deadline is Monday, October 14th. Events include: singles, doubles for men and women, as well as, first timers, juniors and +40, +50.
· FIR World Championships (November 20th-24th): Since last month, there was a surprising venue change for Worlds. The tournament will now be held in Leipzig, Germany.The tournament will be held at a new venue called Sportpark Leipzig and will include events from Elite to First-timers. It is not too late to get onboard; we are looking to fill one last spot– if interested in going please email Patrick Moran at email@example.com. Next month we will share TEAM USA!
Call to Action: We need your help!
As we look to evolve and expand here in the United States, we are looking to develop relationships with sponsors. If anyone has any connections to companies that would be interested in sponsoring our events and TEAM USA, please let us know.
Additionally, we are constantly looking for new players and venues for tournaments. If anyone has any new players that would like to be included on our communications or if you know of some ideal venues for tournaments, please let us know and we will work to assist in any way necessary.
Thank you for your help and support