Bye Bye Bubble

Let’s be frankly honest here. As we all know, we don’t get into squash to become millionaires now do we. We get in squash because the people in it are just extraordinary characters. Passionate, feisty, clever, intense, fun, and mighty amazing athletes too.

But when you are prevented by a deadly virus to have any contact with those amazing Gladiators/officials/audience, and you are more or less crying all the way to the Bank, not to mention seeing your sport going in a bullying direction you really do NOT enjoy or validate, you wonder why you are sticking to it really.

Then suddenly you hear that there is no Covid Bubble for this tournament. Everyone took lateral flow tests this morning and that, fingers crossed, could be that.

Alleluia, Elhamdoulillah. No, seriously. Being able to breathe freely and see where you are walking and not only the top half of the horizon, hug your friends/players, go from table to table, sit with them to eat, eat where you want, take the shuttle you want, and chat, chat chat with everybody… LIFE IS BACK!!!!

A funny moment when Joelle King – who’s seen me for the past two years with a mask – just didn’t recognise me bless her. That’s what COVID did to us you know…

So tonight, at the restaurant – where we sat where we felt like it – all the players were back sitting at table as normal! Loved it, loved it, loved it!

Ok, we were not expecting to have to wear three jumpers to have a cup of tea outside – the weather here is around 10° colder than normal, but we are again staying in the lovely WestIn in Tagamo (New Cairo, close to the Club) but it’s still an incredible lovely place to stay in.

First day of the event with a new look again, the Black Ball Media team doing wonders again, Ahmed, Nouran under our Master-At-The-Helm Mohamed Raef, producing a new feel at every Black Ball event. ‘Captain’ Ashraf Hanafi in charge of the competition as usual, and we know the players’ needs will be met to the full…

Honestly, we are so privileged to be here, at peace, eating lovely food, sleeping in a warm and comfy bed. Let hope that the madness that is hitting the world at the moment – even more than normal that is – will cease soon, but sometimes, freedom has a price, let’s hope we only have to pay for higher petrol…

Framboise Gommendy