– thanks all those responsible for his career
By Rawle Welch
With the Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Senior Championships slated to start next Saturday in Barbados, reigning national champion Alex Arjoon in an exclusive interview with Kaieteur Sport on Friday at the Top End Fitness Centre, said he and fellow national player Sunil Seth has been engaged in hectic preparations ahead of the team’s departure on Friday to compete in the regional
Arjoon, who is a four-time national champion, recently returned from representing Guyana at the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and now has his sights set on doing well for his country at the Senior CASA event.
The soft-spoken champion, who has been representing Guyana for a number of years starting in the junior category where he spearheaded his country to a record number of titles, turned Professional early this year and according to him it has proven to be an eye opener and a notable difference all round.
“Playing on the PRO Circuit is physically demanding because of its constant grind, but the experience is amazing. I definitely got the opportunity to see a level of Squash among some of the best players in the world that I’ve never experienced before,” Arjoon told this newspaper.
He spoke of playing against opponents that you’ve never heard of before, but who are pure class, adding that despite the Circuit being an intimidating one he is enjoying the experience and is fully determined to succeed.
Arjoon, who has always enjoyed the full support of his parents Andrew and Annette, two of his biggest fans as well in reference to what it feels like to be a professional Squash player, said, “you are always putting pressure on yourself to do well and even fulfill the expectations of those who support you.”
He, however, stated that his goal is to stick with the sport and see how far he can go, especially since the cost of remaining on the Circuit is a costly one and doing well is the only way to justify your continued presence on the tour unless your support is limitless, a luxury that he currently does not have.
The local champ, who is presently attending Franklin and Marshall College in the USA reading for a Double Major in Business and Spanish and the current Captain of his team ranked fourth overall in the country, revealed that he is in his final year and would like to give back something to the institution and the players for all the support that they’ve given him over the years.
“As Captain I have a lot of responsibility to see that they do well. My school has done so much to influence my decision to turn Pro so I want to give back as much before I leave,” Arjoon felt.
He reminded that while he is committed to being a Pro his priority at the same time is to get his Degree.
The talented star said there are a handful of persons he would like to thank for the path his career his taken to date and they include national coaches Carl Ince and Robert Fernandes, Kathy Shuffler, Nicolette Fernandes, who he pointed to as some of the individuals got him started in the programme, his College Coach of three years Gavin Jones and Fitness Trainer Kezqweyah Yisrael someone Arjoon referred to as a trusted friend and a consummate professional.
“I can trust him as an athlete he is very professional and someone who always comes up with a plan of action to fix whatever is wrong.”
However, with regards to his life choice, Arjoon reserved this gratitude to his parents who he disclosed supported him throughout the journey and allowed him to live his dream something he said he will always appreciate.
Arjoon whose uncle Roger was once regarded as amongst the best players in the Caribbean, also had good thoughts for the friends and family who repeatedly opened their doors for him when he toured and the media for the coverage they’ve extended to him throughout his career.
Meanwhile, Arjoon commenting on the Commonwealth Games experience said it was more of gaining experience playing at the highest level rather than being ideal preparations for the CASA Championships.
“It was like experiencing Pro Life as a player. There were at least ten of the top players in the world competing at the Games so it was a tough challenge for me, but I am grateful for the experience going forward.”
Asked about his chances of doing well at the regional event, Arjoon conceded that players such as Chris Binnie of Jamaica, who happens to be the reigning champion, Cameron Stafford of the Cayman Islands and fellow Guyanese Seth and Richard Chin are vastly more experienced than him, but believes that he has just as good a chance as any of them.
“Once I peak at the right time, I believe I have as good a chance as any of them and I also believe that on any given day I could compete. I will be going into the tournament with a lot of confidence in my own ability to do well.”
Kaieteur Sport extends best wishes to Arjoon and the entire Guyana team as they head out to the CASA Championships.
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