Nov 22, 2021 Sports
Kaieteur News –
By Sean Devers
Eighteen-year-old Shomari Wilshire will lead a three-member national junior Boys Squash team to the first ever U-23 Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia from November 25 to December 5.
Seventeen-year-old Samuel Ince and baby of the team 15-year-old Micheal Alphonso are the other two members of team Guyana and along with Shomari, who returned from Connecticut, USA on Saturday, are expected to depart Guyana from the GOA headquarters at Lilliendaal for the airport in the wee hours of tomorrow morning.
Former Southern Caribbean Squash Champion, Garfield Wilshire, will travel with the team as Coach.
Shomari joined the team from the USA where he is attending school and attended yesterday’s final training session at the Georgetown Club, where the emphasis was on the ‘Doubles’ preparations.
GSA’s Executive and National Assistant Coach Deje Dias, Shomari, Samuel and Micheal spoke about preparations for the PanAm Games on the last ‘Sean Devers Sports Watch’ programme on Kaieteur Radio.
Dias, who along with National Coach Carl Ince is working with the Boys, informed that the training camp was held at the Georgetown club in the City and on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Farm on the Linden Highway of Coach Ince.
“I had to take my hat off to these boys because Covid happened and everyone was in their house and when the GSA came forward with this is the squad we are trying to go forward with and this the training system we will go with… these boys hit the ground running.
We had a schedule made just after this meeting which took place in July and it was not a lot of time but these boys put in the effort from Jump.
They have improved a lot being in mind that they have not been playing squash due to the pandemic. Micheal and Samuel are training in town and going up to the Farm on the Highway, while Shomari is training overseas,” informed Dias.
According Dias, the players are engaged in fitness sessions with a physical trainer on Mondays, while on Wednesdays and weekends the Boys travel to the Highway for sessions with coach Ince.
“These boys have really improved in a short space of time and have really put in the work, especially in these crazy pandemic times with school going on and getting accustomed to on-line studies and assignments. They have managed to dedicate a good chunk of their time to squash and it’s bearing fruit…as they say the proof is in the pudding.
Their improvement in all areas have been fantastic and Coach (Ince) says they are peaking at the right time. And hats off to Coach…he was thrown a weird one this time. He knows all these kids intimately but bringing them back and getting them prepared for not just a Caribbean tournament but a Pan American tournament in such a short time was a tough ask. Personally I am impressed with how much they have improved in the short time,” Dias posited.
Samuel is the grandson of Coach Ince and disclosed that the pandemic had an impact on all athletes.
“During the Covid I was in Town and went up the Highway on weekends. My grand dad would do solo sessions with me but I wasn’t playing properly since I had not been playing until the squad was selected.
Due to it being an under-23 Tournament, expectations of Medals are not very high. It will be mostly just exposure for us because of the chances we have missed due to the Pandemic. This is an opportunity to go and play against better players and learn from them,” said Samuel who has acquired sponsorship to play in USA open after PanAm.
Samuel, who wants to become a professional Squash player, intends to explore the possibility of playing in England where he was born.
Micheal said during Covid only Samuel had the opportunity to train at Coach Ince’s facility on the Highway.
“I had to stay indoors because the Courts were not opened due to Covid. So only recently I started back training with the squad in the official training sessions.
The players will be more experienced since we are a lot younger compared to most of them and they should be a lot better than us, so we have to give of our best and it will be a learning experience for me,” explained Michael.
Shomari speaking from Connecticut USA, informed that the courts are nearby his school.
“So I would go and play by myself. For the past couple of months, we did not have a Coach so I would go and do work by myself. I would do Court runs, and do volleys and drives whenever I could to improve my game and get better.
The courts here are open so anyone could use them despite the Covid restrictions. I am hoping that we can try our best at the PanAm Games since it’s an under-23 Tournament but we are 18, 17 and 15, so it will be a great experience for us playing against better players and seeing what the atmosphere is like and playing at a higher altitude and what comes with that,” said Shomari on his expectations for the PanAm Games.
Shomari, who will play in next month’s US Open in order to try and be recruited by scouts for College teams, said he is not harbouring thoughts of playing on the Professional Circuit.
He said he has no idea how he will perform in Junior PanAm Games since he does not know the players and is ‘blind sighted’ into the Games. He added that he hopes to do his best.
The players were also high in praise for work of Strength and Conditioning Coach, Kezqweyah Yisrael, who has been with them for the six last weeks.
Nov 30, 2021– Foster unveil plans to produce ten West Indies players at all levels in two years Kaieteur News – “On behalf of the Berbice Cricket Board, I would like to welcome you back as an...
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Kaieteur News – One night, moons ago, as editor-in-chief of the Kaieteur News, Adam Harris and I were discussing my... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – COP26 in Glasgow offered no hope to small island states which continue to face... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]