Mates still playing to win
BRIAN Lyons loves his squash, so much so he built his home around it.
Inside his northern Victorian home is a custom-made squash court, bordered on three sides by a bathroom, lounge room and yes you guessed it, the kitchen sink.
Brian and good friend and fellow squash player Sid Webb, also from Victoria, are preparing to compete at the 2011 Australian Masters Squash Championships in Rockhampton this month.
The pair, who share more than 100 years of squash experience between them, are also keen prospectors and stopped over in the Central Highlands for a little “R&R” ahead of their national tournament.
This year will mark Sid’s 29th successive Masters series, a feat bettered by only one other competitor according to Sid.
“I think there is a lady who has done two more than me, but I’ll be around for a while yet,” Sid challenged.
Playing in the 75-79 years age category, it didn’t seem to faze Sid that he is nearing the Masters competition age limit of 85 and the end of his current playing age bracket.
In fact, some years he actually looks forward to turning another year older and the 80-year threshold cannot come soon enough.
“It’s the only year I actually want to be another year older in,” Sid said.
Both players have their own success in the sport, both individually and in the team squash events.
Sid is the holder of no less than five Australian titles in his age division, while Brian placed a respectable fourth at the 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney.
Brian was also the recipient of an Australian Sports Medal for his dedication to junior squash in his region, and ran as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch Relay.
“Apart from getting married, it (the Relay) was the greatest thing I’ve done in my life,” Brian said.
While unsure as to what this year’s Masters tournament held in store for them, the pair vowed to certainly give it their all.
“I’ll do the best I can.
“When they walk off that court, they’ll know they’ve played me.
“My ambition is play until I’m in my 90s; if my body holds up that is,” he said.
Sid’s hopes however are a little more reserved.
“I’ll just be happy to walk through the door,” he said.
The Australian Masters Squash runs from September 3-16.