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Laura Massaro turns focus to promoting home tournament
LAURA Massaro may have been crowned world champion but now her world centres around her home town of Chorley.
For the player turns promoter next month when she hosts the second Courtcare Open at the David Lloyd Centre from April 16-20.
The competition – a WSA $10,000 event – will include some of the game’s up-and-coming stars including Sarah-Jane Perry who won the World Squash Association’s breakthrough player of the year award.
Perry, ranked 16th in the world, is number one seed for the tournament with Massaro’s England team-mate Sarah Kippax, seeded two. There will be 16 players in the main draw with a qualifying round also taking place.
And the competition, which Massaro has again organised with her brother Chris Lengthorn, (pictured below), includes players from Brazil, Australia, USA and Argentina.
Massaro is hoping she will be relieved of chauffeur duties this year.
“Last year, I picked up a few of the girls from the airport but it looks like I won’t have to do it this time,” she said.
“David Lloyd Chorley have managed to secure a sponsored car but as I am not a member of staff I won’t be able to drive it, which is a shame!”
Despite being a rookie promoter, Massaro is using her vast experience as a player to improve the event.
“Last year was a big learning experience for me,” she said. “But as a player myself I know what sort of things the girls like. So we have changed a few things and improved in other areas thanks to a bit of extra sponsorship.
“It’s funny running a tournament as I have been on the playing side of things for so many years. But I am getting used to it now and I have promised myself not to get so stressed.”
She added: “It is great to be able to run the Courtcare Open again and we want to make it an established tournament on the squash calendar.”
For the first time there will also be a men’s satellite competition which will include Massaro’s husband and coach Danny and brother Chris and a number of other local players.
Tickets are on sale from David Lloyd reception. For more details call 01257 235100.
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