Patrick Moran has taken over from Andy Stenson as the new president of Racketlon USA.
Patrick brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the role having been playing and organising for a number of years.
We spoke to Patrick to find out more about his plans for racketlon in the USA.
How pleased are you to be taking over the reins at Racketlon USA?
I am very excited about the future of racketlon in the US. It has a ton of potential to grow and we have a solid team in place to make it happen!
Why have you decided to take over from Andy Stenson?
Andy did a great job in organizing three consecutive tournaments at Smith College and promoting the sport. With the newly formed governing body and in consulting with Andy, we decided that it made the most sense that Racketlon USA is led by a US player. Knowing about my involvement with organizing Team USA for last year’s World Championships in Switzerland and my ambition for growing the sport, I was selected. This will allow Andy to continue to focus on organizing tournaments and on training to play for the British team.
How did you first find out about racketlon?
I was speaking to an old British friend a few years back and we talked about when we had organized our own racket tournament to determine the best all-around player at our school. That was my first exposure to the concept. Four years later, I googled “Quadrathlon of Racket Sports” and discovered racketlon. I found out that the closest tournament to me was in Edmonton, Canada, so I drove 20 hours from the University of Oregon to compete.
What’s your personal history with racketlon?
Ever since that first tournament in Canada, I fell in love with the sport. I grew up playing tennis at the Culford School in England. Then I went to college at the University of Oregon and competed on the badminton, table tennis and squash club teams.
Since I had already known about racketlon and was looking for an event to serve as a fundraiser for anti-human trafficking efforts, I rallied some friends to organize a racketlon tournament and really enjoyed it. So far, I have had the privilege to play in 9 tournaments and represent Team USA at the 2018 World Championship in Switzerland. More recently, I played at the King of Rackets tournament in Belgium.
Describe for us the current situation for racketlon in the USA? How many tournaments do you have? And how many players roughly?
We recently put together our first governing body that is dedicated to growing racketlon in the US. Andy continues to hold a tournament annually at Smith College since it first started three years ago. Shona Kerr teaches a racketlon class at Wesleyan University.
Last year, we competed at the World Championships in Switzerland and beat teams from France and Switzerland in Division 2. Furthermore, we have a good amount of US players competing in international tournaments so far this year such as Katrin Maldre, Emil Patel, Steve De Luca, Dominique Canale, and Justin D’Antonio. Dominque and Justin won their second consecutive mixed doubles title at the Ottawa tournament. Around 80 American players have competed in at least one tournament domestically and internationally. Many others are keen to give it a go!
What are your plans for the future of Racketlon USA?
Our team has lots of exciting plans and the growth potential is limitless. Our primary goals are to raise awareness of the sport in the US and increase the quantity/quality of players. We want our players to compete with the best in the world across all ages. As part of these goals, we plan on setting up more tournaments. We plan on having at least two more tournaments in the US over the next six months.
We are exploring combining our tour with Canada to form a North American Tour and having a battle for North America match (Canada vs USA)! Additionally, we are ramping up our marketing efforts via social media and were inspired by the efforts of Racketlon Hong Kong to grow the sport. We loved their summer league and “fun day” ideas. The USTA does something similar with the Net Generation to raise awareness of Tennis across the US – perhaps we could try something like that. In the long term, we want to help racketlon be a sport in the Olympics.
Will we see a USA team at the upcoming World Team Championships?
Of course! We have a full team put together with some newcomers to racketlon.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
If any of you fellow racket enthusiasts have connections to the US for players, sponsors, marketing, or venues, please send them our way. If you are ever in the US and want to hit, please let us know. Our players span across the country and will love a good battle.
Facebook: Racketlon USA
Website – usaracketlon.com
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer
Image Credit / Inge Omey