Squash set to bring party atmosphere
Forget everything you think you know about squash.
At GC2018, the competition will be the life of the party and one of the highlights of the Commonwealth Games, according to Australian hopeful Lisa Camilleri.
"In professional tournaments the crowd has to stay quiet while the rally is being played but at the Commonwealth Games, they are allowed to scream and chant all they like, so there is a real party atmosphere," Camilleri told GC2018.com.
"I found a lot of players found it really hard to adapt to that at the last Commonwealth Games, but I found it quite exciting. I lift when there is more atmosphere and more noise. And I always lift when I’m representing Australia, because it is so special.
"It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it really is. Seeing players on television at this level is one thing, but to experience it in person and to be there amongst the crowd, it will be amazing.
"If you are a squash player or have any interest in squash, it is the best thing you’ll ever be able to watch."
All four walls of the show court are all-glass, giving spectators of the squash tournament at Oxenford Studios an incredible chance to see every shot from every angle.
With the competition geared towards the fans, it can require an adjustment from the players.
"Playing at Glasgow we had the glass court and some days there were over 8,000 fans watching, when you talk about big stadiums it doesn’t sound like much, but in that small arena, there is so much noise," she said.
"Hearing is quite a big sense in squash, not only hearing where the ball is going, but where your opponent is, obviously with tennis they are on the opposite side of the court, but in squash you are sharing the same court, so you have to listen to where your opponent is the whole time.
"Being on a glass court, the ball sounds different off the glass, so you have to make that adjustment."
Camilleri took up squash as a youngster because she grew up in Tully, arguably one of the wettest towns in Australia.
She immediately showed incredible promise, claiming the under 11s Queensland state title as a nine-year-old.
"Tully is the wettest town in Queensland, it is just always raining so an indoor sport worked out pretty perfectly," she said.
"It was a big deal winning that under 11s championships, coming from a small town and having to move to Brisbane to compete. I was very nervous. I was in the local papers a lot and loved travelling and playing.
"When I turned 18 I got an AIS scholarship, which was based in Brisbane and turned professional when I was 19 and have been playing ever since."
The 34-year-old is hopeful she’ll get one more chance at a Commonwealth Games medal, after coming fourth in Dehli and missing out in Glasgow.
The Australian team for GC2018 will be announced later this year.
"I’m just focussing on doubles, the last two Commonwealth Games I’ve played both singles and doubles. The court is different, it is two metres wider than the singles court and everything is different. The angles are different, it’s a very specialised game," she said.
"The focus this year has been on double events. Training has been great, it’s probably the first Games I haven’t been injured heading in, which has been great.
"In Dehli we came fourth and lost to an Australian team for Bronze. In Glasgow I came seventh. I haven’t got a medal and that is really why I’m back trying to give it another crack."
Tickets are still available. Get amongst the party atmosphere and secure your tickets now.