By: Kelly R. Diesel
As the summer months come to an end, the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) is proud to announce their season opening Tier 1 (T1) tournament, the Atlanta Open!
From September 5-8 at the Recreational ATL Sports Facility in Lilburn, Georgia, the IRT and all of its star-studded athletes will compete in the first T1 tournament of the 2019-2020 IRT season. You can expect full-sized draws at the ATL Open with a Men’s Pro Singles and Doubles division being offered, and up to $20,0000 in prize money!
Jason Chan, 59-years-old and originally from Hong Kong, will be taking on all the responsibilities for the ATL Open as the Tournament Director. Chan, who currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia first discovered the passion that fans and players have for racquetball about 12 years ago during his first day on the job as the Recreational ATL Sports Facility owner.
“I didn’t understand what all these players and people watching were arguing about, something about a skip ball,” Chan said. “I was just thinking to myself, why are they so mad, what is this sport that makes people so mad? I learned that it isn’t madness, it’s their competitiveness that takes over.”
Chan said he loves racquetball because of the skill it requires to succeed, and the exercise you’ll receive while playing. Dealing with injuries, as all athletes in all sports do, has been an issue in the past with Chan and his knees, but he plays as often as his body allows. One thing that Chan is so excited about for the ATL Open would be the amount of sponsors that have all chipped in to make the tournament possible.
“We wouldn’t have anything without the great sponsors of the Atlanta community,” Chan said. “I appreciate every sponsor for the IRT and here (Atlanta) locally because with the money and support that they put up and show, allows our great sport to continue to grow.”