Total Pageviews


Search This Blog

Sunday, June 12, 2011

P.A. resident entranced by racquetball after introduction to sport

--PRINCE ALBERT-- Konya Sriram peered intently into the racquetball court at California Fitness having never picked up a racquet, and only two years on, tells national-winning tales.

Lorne Renouf is Sriram's coach and doubles partner and remembers him approaching the court and stopping, actively watching with unwavering concentration.

"He would watch for five minutes at a time," Renouf said. "I saw him watching and approached."

No wheedling was required as Sriram pounced on the opportunity to learn the game.

"I started from scratch," said the D-division national winner. "It was a lot of hard work, I played five times a week."

Sriram was born in India and moved to Prince Albert after a six-year stint in South Africa. Very focused in his approach to the game, Sriram fell in love from the outset.

"It's a lovely game, very interesting," the 48-year-old said. "I cannot figure out how the time passes. "Sprinting and stopping, sprinting and stopping; very challenging for the heart."

His coach, Renouf has a knack for picking talent and has played racquetball since moving to Prince Albert from Newfoundland 10 years ago. But never has he seen a forehand with such ferocity.

"It's amazing to see," said the 49-year-old coach. "Nobody in his class can hit the ball that hard."

Breezing by people like a Ferrari on the Autobahn, Sriram never turns down a match, showing lust for his newly found obsession.

Rallies in racquetball are usually quick and extremely intense. Winners are decided by best-of-three matches, of which 15 points is the mark for the first two games followed by a tiebreaker game up to 11.

"It's amazing to see," said the 49-year-old coach. "Nobody in his class can hit the ball that hard." - Lorne Renouf
The victor, like in most racquet sports, must win by two.

Racquetball works on a points system and because Sriram has only played for two years, accumulating enough points to progress to a higher division proved difficult. He entered Nationals playing at an entry level.

Though the 48-year-old said winning the tournament was gratifying, he acknowledged, "it was not challenging enough."

Due to his victorious week in Antigonish, N.S., Sriram will no longer play inferior opponents, having been promoted one division.

Renouf and Sriram won their consolation final in doubles over the week-long tournament, which was held on May 20-29.

Squash and racquetball are often compared: A squash ball is softer, slower and smaller and squash racquets are longer and narrower; a racquetball court is longer but marginally less wide; Other various subtle differences exist.

Prince Albert used to host competitions infrequently, but now has only one court, excluding it from contention.

Racquetball players in Prince Albert play from September to May, travelling across Saskatchewan and Alberta in search of competition.

No comments:

Post a Comment