Tony’s passion for squash burns bright

Tony Moavero of Table View plays a game of squash.

There is nothing that makes Tony Moavero happier than playing a game of squash, and even though age has slowed down the octogenarian it has done little to deter him from putting down his racket altogether.

Mr Moavero scoops up the little black ball with his racket, bounces it upwards and then whacks it against the wall of the squash court at a Table View gym.

He calls the squash court his “second home”, spending four days of the week there.

Next week, he turns 88 and says exercise and staying busy have helped him reach this ripe-old age.

“I never stop,” says the Table View resident who spends his time gardening and doing maintenance work around the house when he’s not on the court.

He says exercise is important because squash can be a “dangerous game” when you’re unfit.

One of the oldest members at the gym, Mr Moavero also cycles, spends time on the treadmill and lifts weights as part of his exercise regime.

“I look after my body. Warming up is the most important thing before playing.”

Mr Moavero started playing squash 62 years ago when he emigrated from Sicily to Rhodesia in 1956.

In 1979 he moved to South Africa, settling in Pretoria. Asked why he moved to South Africa, he jokes, “Ask Mugabe.”

In Pretoria, Mr Moavero spent 16 years with the Adelaar Squash Club, six of those years as its chairman.

In 1995 he moved again, settling in Milnerton, where he joined the Milnerton Squash Club and the gym.

After about ten years, he left the club but continued playing squash at the gym.

“Squash is about anticipation. It’s about skill, precision, direction,” he says.

For a while now his worsening eyesight has made it difficult for him to abide to these principles, but he has found a way to work around this.

“I spend ten minutes adjusting my eyes to the light before I start playing.”

A self-professed “legend” of the game, he dedicates time coaching youngsters whenever he can.

He believes the game is suffering because not enough attention is given to it today.

“Squash is my life, and I will play it until the day I die,” he says.