Father of seven finally makes his debut

He started playing at 40 and he's making his Commonwealth Games squash debut at 55 -- and has struggled through hurricane destruction to do it.

Meet Neville Sorrentino of the British Virgin Islands, a father of seven and a beacon of hope for mature athletes everywhere.

"To be able to participate in the Games is fantastic," the British-born world number 477 said at Gold Coast, where he will compete in singles and doubles.

"I would never have dreamt it (20 years ago). My children think it's fantastic that I can come here and compete."

Age may not be a factor for Sorrentino but Hurricane Irma was after it tore through the Caribbean in September and left the British Virgin Islands with only one functioning squash court.

"We've got one court. There were four courts and three have still got no roof and no floors," said Sorrentino.

"We've managed to put one back together, but getting time on the court has been difficult with 30 other (social) squash players wanting to use it.

"We've also got a coach in for the last two weeks to help us out and we've trained as much as we could."

Sorrentino will play Pakistan's Tayyab Aslam in the men's singles on Thursday and will partner with Joseph Chapman in the doubles.

However, he is a long way from being the oldest competitor at the Games.

That honour goes to Canadian shooter Robert Pitcairn, 78, while the lawn bowls competition has a number of athletes in their 70s.

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