Junior squash players show promise
The Barbados Junior Squash players are raring to go for this year’s Caribbean Area Squash Association’s (CASA) junior tournament which will be held in Barbados from July 17 to 26.
Just last weekend five juniors including three boys, Alex Stewart, Zechariah Naitram and Zachary Proverbs-Harris, and two girls, Chelsie Samuel and Sumairaa Suleman, attended the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Junior Open Championship, which was held at the National Squash Center, in Kingstown.
All five players medalled in their respective age category, however Chelsie Samuel, coached by Rhett Cumberbatch was the pick of the Barbadian squash players. The 11-year-old St. Ursuline Convent student not only won the girls under-13 title but she also captured the girls under-15 title as well from St. Vincent and the Grenadine’s Lauryn Doyle and Jada Ross who were seeded one and two respectively. Sumairaa Suleman finished third in the under-13 girls division.
The competition was very high in the boy’s divisions. Alex Stewart finished second in the boys under-13 and Zechariah Naitram and Zachary Proverbs-Harris both finished third in the boys under-15 and under-17 divisions respectively. St. Vincent and Grenadine’s Kai Bentick dominated both the boys U15 and U17 divisions while their top seeded U19 player Jason Doyle magnificently took that division from Trinidadian challenger Nicolas Caddle. Caddle was also second in the U17 division.
The local players are now gearing up for the national qualifiers, which take place early April. Junior coach Rhett Cumberbatch said he was pleased with the talent that he was seeing from the local juniors.
“Barbados has not won CASA since my time as a junior but we are certainly on our way back. Performances of juniors like Meagan Best, Kamal Cumberbatch and Amanda Harewood at the U.S. and Canadian Open Champions at the end of last year have really helped to boost the overall morale of our players and they are now more focused and working hard. I expect that we will be very competitive this year with players like Chelsie and the others coming along the way they are,” Cumberbatch said.
Players from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and a combined OECS team are expected to attend this year’s CASA in Barbados.