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Celebrity Squash Cup

Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez' annual sporting event gets a
fashionable following.
Celebrity Squash Cup Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez' annual sporting event gets a
fashionable following.

Just as running took over Manila last year, a new sport is gaining popularity among athletes, health buffs, and weight watchers alike. Squash, a racket sport that is often likened to its distant cousin, tennis, provides players with a total body work out from building upper body strength to burning calories sprinting around the court. Played in singles or doubles, it involves hitting a ball (much sharper than those used in Tennis) against the wall of the court with a racket, explained simply.

Over the weekend, Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez hosted the annual Celebrity Squash Cup, an event that drew some heavy fashion industry players.

Picking up the sport five years ago, Tweetie hasn't put down her racket since (except during her pregnancy, but even then, she was eager to continue). "Squash, though pretty intense, can make me forget about stress from work due to the extreme focus needed when playing the game," she explained.

Three years ago, when she was invited to become a member of the Squash Racquets Association of the Philippines, she proposed the idea of hosting a celebrity match to breed awareness locally. "In my effort to help elevate the public's awareness of the sport, I proposed a celebrity event that could possibly generate interest among players, spectators, the media and eventually, some companies. For without assistance from the private sector, our very young and promising team will in due course be dissolved together with the presence of the sport in our country.

It has been three years since I started organizing the celebrity tournament and we are happy to note that the squash community is growing steadily year after year."

Happy to trade in their usually fashionable garb for sporting gear this year were Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Margot Garcia, Patrice Ramos-Diaz, Angel Jacob, Grace Molina, Apples Aberin-Sadhwani, and Robby Carmona to name a few.

With Team Nike Park composed of Gil Coscolluela, Franco Lumjuco, Dicky Bachmann, Patrice Ramos-Diaz, Grace Molina and Robby Carmona grabbing first place this year, Tweetie's star studded event is a great reminder that sweating off the pounds for the summer need not be a pain. For in the end, as with any sport, the real purpose of squash is to just have good old fun with friends.

We decided to ask some of the participants what they like best about the sport. Click on the photo gallery to see their replies.

To try the sport out for yourself, visit the Squash Racquets Association of the Philippines website here.

—Reggie Aquino, Beauty Assistant

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