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Squashing Violence for 16 hours2012 16 hours squash

Two women in Te Puke played squash for 16 hour to raise funds for the Tauranga Women's Refuge last weekend.

The two women raised $2000 for the Tauranga Women's refuge by playing 71 games of squash from 5.00am to 9.00pm, each match to 9. The result was surprisingly close - Tessa won 35 and Megan won 36!!  Even in the last hours, the competition remained strong, with game scores such as 20/18, 16/14, 15/13.  Neither of them was going to give the other an easy game!
'Squashing violence' was a huge success and we are sure the Women's Refuge are very grateful to these two amazing ladies and their contribution to their cause. In the Year of Women's Squash, it is great to see these two women use squash to support other women. Well done Tess and Megan!
Below is Megan's account of the effort...

"Tessa had made it clear to me early on that she was not a morning person.  When contemplating 16 hours of squash we had to agree on a start time.  Months beforehand Tessa was questioning her ability to wake and begin playing squash at 5am in the morning.  She didn't even seem worried about the prospect of 16 hours of squash!  I tried to mirror her innate confidence, but settled with hiding my fear.  Tessa's early training consisted of wearing her contact lenses for longer periods of time throughout the day, to make sure her eyes could cope!  I wore more make-up to hide the worry lines forming fast. 

The night before the big day had me asking a few deep questions of myself or, in my 5 year old daughter Nina's words, "Why do you have to do maniac things Mum?"  My 9 year old son was more philosophical and supportive as he declared the attempt at 16 hours of squash a real "milestone".  Needless to say my husband was instructed to keep Nina's astute thoughts away from my hearing for the duration of the big day.

So we began at 5am with little plastic bagged packets of food marked with the time they were to be eaten.  Finally Tessa's OCD tendencies came in handy.  Thank God that others around us were concerned enough to ensure we had a nutritional plan that ensured dehydration and cramps didn't set in.  A business card of a highly regarded nutritionist - with a handy wee chart on the back - was placed in the toilet so we could distract ourselves with checking our wee and trying to estimate the quantity discharged.  Then we began. 

I can't speak for Tessa but luckily having a mind that could wander aimlessly for hours proved handy.  A keen sense of competitiveness between Tessa and I meant the games were close throughout, and the hours slipped by with friends and family popping in and out as the day wore on.

We called it Squashing Violence for 16 hours but it wasn't entirely violence free.  I say that Tessa was crowding my back-swing, but Tessa would say my excessive rotation ended up in a loud clunk when my racket hit her forehead.  The swelling was instantaneous but settled down over the ensuing 10 hours.  Luckily the Dr was able to heal herself.  I gave her swing a wide berth for several hours afterwards fearing retribution. 

By hour 14 Tessa was doing her best to hide an inner thigh strain that was proving hard to massage discretely.  My lower back was tightening and the minutes were lengthening.  Tessa's knee gave way and I feared that I would be doing it solo for the last 90 minutes; true to form Tessa was strapped up and carried on in quite obvious pain.  In contrast, her eyes did remarkably well having put in that early contact wearing training. 

We made it to the 16 hours and collapsed with our friendship intact.  Whilst I will not be making any crazy bets in the near future, I am pleased that we did it.  The members of the Te Puke Squash Club were absolutely wonderful in their support.  Not only did they cheer us on, they donated money, and allowed us to use 1 of the 3 courts for the whole day.  Thank you to the following companies and individuals that provided sponsorship: Palm Springs Medical Centre, Beach Legal, Manning Gibbs & Brown, Fenton McFadden, Holland Beckett, Sisters, Business Results Group, Bennett Gibson Group, Mackie Signs, BMS Limited, Matthew Ward-Johnson, and Andy and Holly McCrae.  There were also lots of squash players and friends and family that handed me money on the day to donate to the Woman's Refuge.  Thank you also to Don Bayliss Clothing, who provided sports shirts for branding at cost price.  We raised over $2000 for the Tauranga Women's refuge.  A big thank you to our husbands who stepped up to the mark on the day and for several days after the event massaging sore muscles. 

2012 is the Year of Woman's Squash.  It is a great game for keeping fit and is family friendly.  Te Puke Squash Club welcomes new players, old and young.

Whilst Tessa and I were physically pushed to our limits, 16 hours out of 1 day bears no comparison to the lives of women (and sometimes men) and their children who live in daily fear of taking a step out of line and being beaten or verbally abused as a consequence.  Or, in my daughter's words at 'sharing time' on the mat on Monday morning, that she had helped raise money for woman who are beaten up by their husbands......gulp!"

Written by Megan Kirkland

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