No fewer than 115 squash players have converged on Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, to compete for trophies at Lagos Squash Open Tournament.

The championship, organised by the Lagos State Squash Association for U-16 and U-19 boys and girls, holds from January 25 to 29.

According to Wasiu Sanni, Tournament Director, the turnout for the first tournament in 2022 was impressive.

He added that the essence of the tournament tagged, “Lagos Squash Open Tournament,” is to avail players the opportunity to be competitive.

“Training without putting what you have learnt into practice is effort in futility, and we as the custodians of these players need to observe them know where they need improvement.

“And so far so good for day one, I am impressed. As the Head Coach for Lagos State, I see a lot of players with potential that will make Lagos State proud in the nearest future, which is the goal, to help these players actualise their dreams,” he said.

In the first U-16 encounter, 11 years old Aishat Abuduraheem defeated Chioma Ude, 11 years old, 2-0.

Zainab Ishola also won her first match against Sukurat Olanrewaju by 2-0 in a best of three matches.

Mistura Durosinlorun, the winner of the Kunle Adebiyi tournament, which held in November 2020, told newsmen that her goal was to take each match more serious than the previous one as she progressed in the tournament.

“I don’t feel pressured. I’d just take each match as it comes, and give my best.

“I have trained hard enough and I believe I’d get my desired results and make my family proud.

“The organisation is good so far, the fact that when you play one match and lose, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the game, it will give players the opportunity to play more, which will serve as a form of training for the next tournament,” she said.

In other boys category, Shuaibu Giwa won his first match by 2-0 against Ibrahim Abudulazeez, while Friday Daniel beat Innocent Francis by 2-0; also Monday Benjamine defeated Daniel Adeyanju 2-0.

Tomi Falase, the Chairman of the association, said that organising regular tournaments for players and developing players at the grassroots had always been the objective of the association.

“Organising more of this tournament is our goal as an association, but we need more sponsors to come on board.

“We are grateful for Prime Atlantic for coming through for us; these children will be eternally grateful to them.

“We also appreciate the support we have had from the Lagos State Sports Commission, the Nigeria Squash Federation, and I hope that more private and corporate individuals will join us as we get our youths productively busy,” the chairman said. (NAN)

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