No fewer than 166 junior players male and female are competing for honours in the 3rd U-13 and U-16 Ex-Squash Pro Championships which served off on Thursday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere Lagos.
The Chairman of the Ex-Squash Pro Association, Mubo Ojo, said at the opening that the focus of the association which was to develop the sports at the grassroots remained sacrosanct since the grassroots was a key toward genuine sports development in the country and the world at large.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Ex-Squash Pro association was formed by ex-professionals as a way of giving back to the society.
“We are thankful that our aim for genuine grassroots development of the sport is gradually coming to pass.
“This is the third edition and I cannot but thank our dedicated members for their steadfastness.
“These children have the talent, we have no doubt, last year the youngest player was an eight-year-old, only God knows what we will expect this year.
“Each state participating is expected to come with four children each, but Kwara usually has the highest number of participants.
“The children are being camped at a very conducive environment, with a designated catering service to cater for their feeding,’’ she said.
NAN reports that 21 states are participating in the championships.
The association’s Board of Trustee Chairman, Paul Okechukwu, commended the Caretaker Commitee Chairman,. Yusuf Durosinlorun, for organising two editions of the championships.
He urged the players to ensure that they play fairly, and prayed for an injury-free tournament.
“We are grateful that we have a good structure in place which we intend to build on, so, I commend the doggedness of the previous administrations.
“I urge these upcoming talented players to play fairly, listen to their referees, be open to correction and praying that the tournament will be injury free,” he said.
The Director of the forthcoming championship, Mathew Iyere, said the only focus of the organisers was the U-13 and U-16 boys and girls categories.
“Mentorship is very important and that’s what we intend to do with these children.
“At this early stage they are open to learning so many things and that is why we have decided not to relent,” he said.
NAN reports that the championships which will end on Sunday, April 27, has cash prizes and medals to be given to the best four in all categories,’’ he said. (NAN)