Host aiming for 13th consecutive team title
By Sean Devers
President of the Guyana Squash Association (GSA) Robin Low yesterday assured the Media and Sponsors that everything is in place for hosting of the 2017 Junior CASA tournament which will be contested from Sunday
July 2 to Saturday July 8 at the Georgetown Club and the National Racquet Centre.
Low, speaking at the launching of this year’s tournament at the Georgetown Club on Camp Street, said he was very proud that Guyana is once again the host the competition which will see Barbados, Jamaica, Bermuda, Trinidad & Tobago, Cayman Islands and the OECS pressing to dethrone 12-times defending Champions Guyana.
The tournament was last contested in Guyana in 2011 and Low said that this was an opportunity not only showcase Guyana’s Squash but Guyana as country. He thanked the sponsors for supporting the event, especially ExxonMobil, on board for the first time.
The other sponsors are Digicel, Banks DIH, Ansa McAl, Bounty Farm and the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA). The team matches and finals will be played at the Georgetown Club which will serve as the main venue while only the individual matches will be staged at the Racquet Centre, Woolford Avenue.
The individuals will run from Sunday to Tuesday while the team competition is scheduled from Wednesday to Saturday and action starts from 09:00hrs to 13:00hrs in the mornings and resumes from 16:00hrs in the afternoon and should conclude around 20:00hrs.
The opening ceremony is set for the Georgetown Club on Wednesday from 16:00hrs and the visiting teams were scheduled to start arriving here from last evening. Ben Mekdeci, who did not train with the team due to overseas commitments for the last 10 months, will lead the boy’s team while Taylor Fernandes will captain the female team.
Both players along with representatives from the sponsors; Kimberly Brasington (ExxonMobil), Troy Peters (Banks DIH), Sean Abel (Ansa McAl), David Fernandes (Bounty Farm) and Garfield Wilshire (GOA) were present yesterday.
Brasington said that ExxonMobil was pleased to be approached since they are passionate about supporting youth development and is looking forward to Guyana making it 13 in a row. Abel noted that Ansa McAl has always been a supporter of sports from the ground up while Peters said he began following Squash in the 1980’s as a journalist and has never seen so many young people involved.
Banks DIH has been supporting not only tournaments but individuals over the years and presently Rebecca Low, a member of the Guyana team, is one of the Brand Ambassadors for Banks DIH, disclosed Peters.
Guyana took the title from Barbados in 2004 and the Bajans should provide Guyana with its stiffest challenge this year. Coach Carl Ince has been the Coach since 1998 when the team played in the Bahamas and is quietly confident that Guyana will extend their winning streak.
“While we are on par with the previous years all of the teams are also improving and Barbados is always saying that if any team takes back the title from us it will be them since we started our winning streak by beating them” Ince disclosed.
”I am satisfied with the three months of preparation we had for this tournament although at times it was affected by exams but everyone is eager to get on the court and I think our best will come from the U-15 Boys” Ince stated.
Guyana will compete in the Girls and Boys U-13, 15, 17 and 19 categories and being at home allows them to have a much larger team than if they had to travel overseas.
The Guyana team read – Boys: Shiloh Asregado, Chad De Abreu, Nathan Rahaman, Louis Da Silva, Mohryan Baksh, Demetrius De Abreu, James Mekdeci, Michael Alphonso, Ethan Jonas, Shomari Wiltshire, Gianni Carpenter, Samuel Ince-Carvalhal, Lucas Jonas, Daniel Islam, Anthony Islam, Ben Mekdeci, Alexander Cheeks and Rithew Saywack.
Girls: Christiana Fernandes, Isabella Ramjohn, Beau Fernandes, Kirsten Gomes, Paige Fernandes, Aliyah Persaud, Abosaide Cadogan, Madison Fernandes, Haley Carpenter, Makeda Harding, Sarah Lewis, Rebecca Low and Taylor Fernandes.
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