Fanshawe Over 50 Squash Champ crowned
The tournament began in September 1979, and was competed in a round robin, best of seven series format. Over the past several decades, there has been a tournament game between two 50-plus years olds taking place on Fanshawe's squash courts every minute of the day, except for on stat holidays.
Verne “Oldie” Olsen, an 82-year-old former instructor at Fanshawe outlasted a field of 755 other competitors. Literally outlasted in some cases. Sadly, several competitors who were originally competing in the tournament have passed away during the course of the tournament's lengthy run.
In those cases, instead of simply receiving a bye into the next round, the living competitor was required to attend their deceased opponent's funeral, and deliver the eulogy.
Olsen defeated Graham “Oldie” Valentine in game seven of a thrilling series. A Fanshawe squash court record of three onlookers witnessed the game.
While the end of the tournament is seen as a sad moment for competitors like Olsen and Valentine, others in the Fanshawe community are ecstatic.
“I've been waiting for 25 years to be able to play on one of those courts,” said 47-year-old former Fanshawe student Lilly Fox. “It's about time, I'm so pumped to get a game in. It will be great to get some young blood like me on the courts.”
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