It’s that time of year where Mancunians are picking up their tennis rackets and taking to the outdoors in preparation for Wimbledon.
But a new racket sport could be about to take the crown from centre court.
Racketlon is the equivalent of a triathlon or decathlon and infuses tennis, badminton, table tennis and squash into one whole game.
The North of England Open, which will be hosted at The Northern in Manchester, is taking place on June 1 giving people the perfect chance to experience the relatively new sport.
Players will face-off against each other in games and sets of the different sports and the winner will progress to the next round.
While it may be a competition of endurance, competitors can afford to worry less about their stamina as the game heavily involves the need for racket skills in order to master the sport.
Originating in Finland, it has since been billed as the World’s Fastest Growing Sport.
The first official World Championships of the game were held in 2001 and the tournament has since adapted itself into hosting a tour format as well, which takes place in over 15 countries already.
One notorious Racketlon competitor is Gus Hansen, a famous Texas Hold’em player and brand ambassador for Full Tilt Poker.
Hansen signed with Full Tilt in 2012, a year after he competed in the Gothenburg Racketlon Open against Daniel Majetic.
In late 2012, Hansen also featured in the World Racketlon Championships in Stockholm during which he defeated as many as three competitors, until finally being eliminated from the competition by fellow Dane, Kasper Jonssen, in the quarter-finals.
The victory took Hansen up to 59th in the rankings shortly after the tournament which is an indication for any newcomers to the game that they can quickly progress through the ranks.
The events range from senior, for those aged 45 and 55, to the elite level for both men and women in which only the top competitors will progress.
The tournament also offers a men’s beginner tournament for those who want to try their hand at the sport for the first time.
Junior events are also available with levels at ages under-thirteen and under-sixteen, so children can enhance their sport development from a young age.
Registrations for the event will be open until May 18.
Image courtesy of Christine Brown, with thanks