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21/04/2013
XODUS 7 CONTINENT CHALLENGE 2013
 

Xodus 7 Continent Challenge Finale Goes The Distance

Xodus 7 Continent Challenge
official Website
 

DAY 1
Falklands Stage Hands Lead To Nicol

DAY 2
Enters Toughest Challenge

Day 3
A Speedy Stay In Sydney

Day 4
Now Homeward Bound

Day 5
Nicol Retains Winning Ways

Day 6
Challenge Hits Home in London

Day 7
Finale Goes The Distance

 
Day 7

Xodus 7 Continent Challenge Finale Goes The Distance

Peter Nicol MBE and Tim Garner’s incredible week of playing squash around the world ended on a high in the US on Saturday when they successfully completed the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge.

Nicol won the overall competition 4-3 after outlasting Garner in the seventh and final match 3-2 (11-6, 8-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9) – a contest which, appropriately enough, went the distance.

A big crowd turned out at the Chelsea Piers Club in Stamford, Connecticut to celebrate the end of Nicol and Garner’s whistlestop week of squash matches. The pair began their journey in the Falkland Islands last Saturday (13th April) and since then have played matches in Santiago (Chile), Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Cairo, London and now the US in a show of support for squash’s bid for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. They covered a distance of 40,000 miles and spent over 70 hours on airplanes along the way.

“We wanted out to show what a global sport squash is and I think we’ve done that,” said Nicol, a former World No.1 in squash. “It’s been the most extraordinary week of our lives and there’s an amazing sense of accomplishment now that we’ve done it. But we can’t wait to get home and sleep in our own beds!”

“We’ve had so much support along the way and that’s really kept us going in the tougher moments,” said Garner. “We’d especially like to thank everyone at the clubs we played at and everyone at the Xodus Group. It’s hard to put in to words how exhausted we are but we’re really elated too. It was a crazy idea and I can’t quite believe that we’ve actually managed to do it.

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha's Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain. Click here to donate: http://www.justgiving.com/7CC
 

Day 6

Xodus 7 Continent Challenge Hits Home In London


Peter Nicol MBE and Tim Garner’s gruelling round-the-world squash odyssey touched down on home soil on Friday as the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge arrived in London for its penultimate stage.

Nicol and Garner have covered thousands of miles this week and spent more than 60 hours in the air as part of their quest to play seven matches in seven days on seven continents to promote squash’s bid for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games. After six punishing days of travel and competition in the Falkland Islands, Santiago, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur and Cairo, they were made to feel right at home as friends, family and supporters gathered at the historic Royal Automobile Club in London to cheer them on.

The pair can’t afford to rest just yet, though, for they will spend barely 24 hours in London before heading across the Atlantic to New York for the Challenge finale in Stamford, Connecticut. 

“It’s been great to be here and to see so many friends and family but the work isn’t done yet,” said Garner, who levelled the match series at 3-3 with a 3-1 (9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11) win ensuring that there’s all to play for heading into Saturday’s match at the Chelsea Piers Club. “We’re both feeling incredibly tired but we know we’re close to the end now. I think we’re really going to finish on a high.”

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha's Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain. Click here to donate: http://www.justgiving.com/7CC
 

Day 5

Nicol Retains Winning Ways in Cairo to take a 3-2 lead heading into London on the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge

Peter Nicol MBE and Tim Garner will find themselves briefly back on home soil on Friday when the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge comes to London.

The globetrotting pair will play at the historic RAC club in the heart of the British capital on Friday evening at 6.30pm before crossing the Atlantic to New York for the final stop of a punishing week of travel.

Nicol and Garner have already played five squash matches this week as part of a gruelling adventure that has seen them compete in Antartica, South America, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Thursday's match in Cairo saw former World No.1 Nicol beat Garner 3-1 (11/8 5/11 11/9 12/10) in 51 minutes to edge 3-2  ahead in the series. Neither man has made a secret of their desire to beat the other but their bigger goal is to drive support for squash's bid to become part of the Olympic Games in 2020.

They are also raising money for two sporting charities - Natasha's steps and LV-Kit Aid.

"It's going to be weird to be home after the week we've had, even if it's just for a few hours," said Garner. "We're both kind of running on fumes now but we're keeping each other's spirits up and it will be great to have our friends and family there in London to cheer us on. The support we've had around the world has been amazing."

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha's Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain. Click here to donate:
http://www.justgiving.com/7CC
 

Day 4

Nicol & Garner Xodus 7 Continent Challenge Now Homeward Bound

With four locations now behind them, and the pair's on-court challenge finely-poised at two wins apiece, former world champion Peter Nicol MBE and fellow former professional Tim Garner are now past the half-way mark of their remarkable Xodus 7 Continent Challenge - the bid to contest 7 Squash Matches in 7 Days on 7 Continents to raise the profile of Squash's campaign to join the programme of the 2020 Olympic Games.

By Saturday, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge will have seen the intrepid English pair travel more than 40,000 miles and spend over 70 hours on planes over the course of a week that will have been a test of endurance both mentally and physically.

After beginning their initiative in Port Stanley on the Falkland Islands near 'Antarctica' on Saturday, the 'squashbuckling' heroes moved onto the Chile capital Santiago in South America on Sunday, then crossed the international date line to be in Sydney in Australia on Tuesday, before arriving in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in Asia today.

In addition to battling with tight airline schedules, the intense and demanding schedule has involved a spread of media interviews and photocalls at all stopovers; clinics and exhibition matches with local enthusiasts; plus the all-important challenge matches.

Nicol, the former world number one and winner of four Commonwealth Games gold medals, took an early lead in Port Stanley, winning the first match 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 12-10 in 65 minutes.

Garner, a former world No26, grabbed revenge in Santiago, winning 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10 in 60 minutes. Despite the arduous ordeal, the pair continued to fight tooth and nail in Sydney - where underdog Garner edged ahead, winning 13-15, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 in 45 minutes.

And it was back to a marathon clash which went the full distance today on the new all-glass showcourt at the Bukit Jalil National Squash Centre in KL where Nicol drew the series level at two-all with an 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8 victory in 49 minutes.

"We have been delighted by the response to the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge, not only at the various stage venues but also globally from the social media messages of support," said Garner, en-route to KL airport. "There has also been a great deal of interest in what we are trying to achieve, including SKY News in Australia coming to the airport to meet us off the plane from Chile!

"Most of all it has reconfirmed our belief in the sport and the fact that it will really add something to the Olympics should we be added to the programme in 2020.

"In terms of the squash, considering the travel demands I think we have played to a pretty reasonable standard and the crowds all seem to have enjoyed it," added the 42-year-old from London. "Two-all is a fair reflection to-date with each of us having moments of strength and tiredness, so it's difficult to predict an eventual winner - but if I have to, I am going to back myself!

"PS - Peter is backing himself!" concluded Garner.

World Squash Federation CEO Andrew Shelley is delighted with the campaign: "This has been a wonderful initiative which has really grabbed general interest and given our 2020 Olympic Games 'Vote4Squash' campaign a significant lift. We are indebted to our tireless ambassadors Peter and Tim and to their sponsors Xodus who made it possible.

"The Challenge emphasises the truly global status of our sport and hope it will given even more realisation to the dream of those squash players who hope to be competing in the Olympic Games for the first time in 2020."

As well as profiling the Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge will be raising monies for two squash causes: The first is to support Squash's inclusion in the LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme, and the second Natasha's Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain.

Nicol and Garner are now flying to the Egyptian capital Cairo for the next leg in Africa, from where they head home to Europe on Friday for the penultimate stopover in London - before bringing the extravaganza to a climax in New York in North America on Saturday.

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha's Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain. Click here to donate: http://www.justgiving.com/7CC

 

Day 3

 

A Speedy Stay In Sydney And It’s Onto Malaysia For The Xodus 7 Continent Challenge

 

Peter Nicol MBE and Tim Garner’s bid to complete seven squash matches on seven continents in seven days as part of the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge hit breakneck pace on Tuesday. The pair spent just 13 hours on Australian soil, fitting in a match at Sydney’s Willoughby Club on the Australian leg of their journey before heading to Kuala Lumpur to continue their quest.

 

A technical problem with their connecting flight from Santiago, Chile stranded the pair in Auckland and cut down the time in Sydney, which created yet more pressure on their already impossibly tight schedule. “I think the lady at immigration was amused to be dealing with a couple of mad squash players that were only going to be in the country for the day!,” said Garner. 

 

Somehow the pair fitted in a series of media interviews to promote squash’s bid to become part of the 2020 Olympic Games as well as playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers at the Willoughby Club. Garner won match three of the series 3-1 (13/15 11/5 11/8 11/9) 45 Minutes and now leads the squash competition 2-1, with four matches to come in Kuala Lumpur, Cairo, London and New York.

 

“Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic city and Malaysia is a such a proud squash nation, having produced incredible players like (current women’s No.1) Nicol David, so we’re delighted to be able to play there,” Nicol. 

 

After a relatively short 8-hour flight to KL, Nicol and Garner will play at the National Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur at 7pm local time on Wednesday. From there they will head to Cairo before briefly touching down at home in London en route to the final stop at Chelsea Piers in Connecticut, USA. Since Saturday they have completed matches in the Falkands, Chile and Australia.

 

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha's Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain. Click here to donate: http://www.justgiving.com/7CC
 

DAY 2

Santiago to Sydney - Xodus 7 Continent Challenge Enters Toughest Stage

The Xodus 7 Continent Challenge enters its most gruelling stretch today as squash players Peter Nicol MBE and Tim Garner begin an 19-hour trip from Santiago, Chile to Sydney, Australia as part of their quest to complete seven matches in seven days on seven continents.

The Challenge is a show of support for squash’s bid to be included in the 2020 Olympic Games and began with the first match in the Falkland Islands on Saturday before the pair continued onto Santiago. Garner levelled the seven-match series 1-1 with a 3-2 (12/10 6/11 11/9 8/11 12/10) victory in 60 Minutes in Chile on Sunday evening after Nicol won the opener in the Falklands.

The pair is due to play their third match at the Willoughby Squash Club in Sydney at 4pm local time on Tuesday (16th) before they head to Kuala Lumpur for the Asian leg. From there it will be on to Cairo and then London before they complete the Challenge in New York on Saturday.

“We had a lot of people turn out to watch us in Santiago and to see that enthusiasm for squash was fantastic. It definitely staved off the tiredness for a bit,” said Garner after the match. “I always knew that the South American stage was going to great and I wasn’t disappointed. We’re very excited about Sydney now. The city hosted one of the greatest Olympic Games ever and Australians love sport so much. It’s the perfect place for us to play.”

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha's Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain. http://www.justgiving.com/7CC

Click on Images for larger view

Club Jaime Pinto back the bid

Taking the challenge to Santiago.jpg

DAY 1

 

Falklands Stage Hands 1-0 Lead To Peter Nicol MBE In The Xodus 7 Continent Challenge

 

Former World.No.1 Peter Nicol MBE got off to a flying start in the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge thanks to a 3-2 (11/9, 11/9 8/11 9/11 12/10) 65 Minutes win over travelling partner Tim Garner.  Whilst the competition may have got of to a flying start the journey around seven continents had a more faltering opening with the 19 hour journey to the Falkland Islands becoming a 40 hour marathon due to a delay in the Ascension Islands.  Bad weather caused the flight to be delayed by nine hours, not an ideal situation when trying to cover seven continents in seven days.  

 

Tim, however was pleasantly surprised by the conditions en route:

 

“Having started off with visions of flying down to the Falklands on a Hercules waving to Peter across a space occupied by an armoured vehicle or tank, the Airbus 330 was a pleasant surprise one with the icing on the cake in the delivery of personal iPads for in-flight entertainment.”

The Falkland Islanders have embraced the Challenge with Peter and Tim invited to tea at Governors House with the Governor, Nigel Haywood a keen marathon runner himself and all-round sports enthusiast. The Governor expressed an interest in using the visit to help rejuvenate squash on the Islands.

The match, the first stage in the series of seven, played in Port Stanley at 11am (GMT-4) was a close fought affair with Nicol edging the first two sets 11/9 11/9. However the former World No.1 was unable to maintain the momentum to wrap up 3-0 and allowed Garner to level at 2-2.  The fifth set couldn't have been closer but Nicol prevailed 12-10 to take a 1-0 lead in the challenge before heading off to Santiago, Chile for stage 2.

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha's Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain. http://www.justgiving.com/7CC

www.7continentchallenge.com