Why You Should Enter the 2019 Czech Open

Czech Open 2018

Prague is amongst the oldest capital cities in Europe yet the Czech Republic is the youngest country on the Racketlon World Tour. This duality is a fitting analogue for the 2019 Czech Open, a newish venue for a well-established tour event.

“Prague is, without doubt, one of the finest cities in Europe”

My first visit to Prague was as a last minute pick for a last minute team. Arriving late the night before the team event and leaving the morning after it finished, my 60 hours in Prague involved my bed and a sports centre. People would comment “oh Prague is gorgeous”. I could only ever answer that I saw a sports hall!

So it was with the intention to see some more of Prague that I returned to play the Czech Open in 2017.  Like its fellow Eastern European cousins, Krakow, Gdansk and Riga (amongst others), Prague had gained an unfortunate reputation for being a cheap place to go for a drink and the invasion of a particular type of tourist.  This, however, is cruelly unfair. Prague is without doubt one of the finest cities in Europe, filled with culture and classical architecture. Also, like many of the frontier countries sitting on the border between eastern and western Europe, it is steeped in history representing the heights of middle ages European culture through to some of the darkest times of the 20th Century.

It was a joy in 2017 to take the time to soak up some of this amazing city, from the Astronomical Clock to the Charles Bridge, the stroll up to the Prague Castle and back down to Wenceslas Square.  With an excellent metro system, it is exceptionally easy to nip out of the tournament if you have a few hours and within 20 minutes you are in the heart of this phenomenal city.

James (far left) first played in Prague as part of the GB III team at the 2015 European Championships

Why you should enter the 2019 Czech Open

As for the tournament itself, the accessibility of Prague makes it a wonderfully diverse tournament.  The Czech Republic is truly at the heart of continental Europe, making it accessible to all the main Racketlon playing nations, by road, rail and air.  As such, you will be able to face a range of different opponents from a broad range of countries, the Czech Open is fairly unique in that respect.

The move to hosting the event solely at the Hector Sports Centre means that there are a greater number of available courts ensuring an improved schedule for what is usually one of the biggest events on the Racketlon World Tour.  Finally, the Czech’s know how to throw a party!  It will start with a traditional Czech meal, hearty food to line a stomach before the music and the (free) beer starts flowing! From personal experience, I know this will carry on well through the night and into the early hours of Sunday morning!

Entry for the event is open and I hope to see you there, and of course, if anyone is currently looking for a Men’s B Doubles partner who can play squash but needs carrying around the other three sports, I am listed as “Partner Wanted” on Tournament Software!

The IWT Czech Open takes place from the 5th to 8th of April at the Hector Sports Center, Prague.

More information about the tournament including entry classes, hotels and accommodation can be found here.

Players wishing to book to stay at the tournament hotel are encouraged to do so as soon as possible as demand is already high.

Entry is open to players of all standards here with over 40 players already entered.

James Pope

Image Credit / Czech Racketlon

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