….It’s the biggest Squash Event So Far- NSF President
Fans and players were in jubilant mood on Wednesday as the main matches of the 2018 Chamberlain Squash Open (CSO) kicked off at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Students from various schools in Lagos turned out in their numbers to witness the event in what the CSO Promoter, Chamberlain Usoh, said was a conscious effort to introduce Squash to young Nigerians.
Usoh, in his remarks at the opening ceremony, said he was determined to bring as many youngsters into the world of Squash as he possibly could.
“We want to catch them young. Squash is a very interesting sport and at CSO, we want to bring it into the limelight like football. We are trying to get Squash back into the map.
“We’re glad the NSF is giving us the necessary support. We this support, we can help the youngsters develop a career in the game”, he said.
While wishing all players the best of luck, Usoh said the tournament will not be an easy grind for many Nigerian players as this year’s edition parades top PSA-ranked players from across the globe.
“It certainly won’t be easy for Nigerian players. But good for their experience build up. You’re all welcome and enjoy the tournament”, he said.
Also speaking at the event, the President, Nigerian Squash Federation (NSF) Boye Oyerinde described the tournament as the biggest Squash event so far this year in Nigeria.
“It’s fantastic and we have a fantastic atmosphere for the 2018 CSO. It’s good for Squash development in Nigeria.
It may be tough Nigerian players but like they say in sports, never say never.
“I’m glad to see the secondary school students. I’m glad that Squash is penetrating to the grassroots. It’s really a good development.
“It is also good that this is a PSA sanctioned event. We wish the players the best”, Oyerinde stated.
The climax of the opening ceremony was the unveiling of the CSO tournament trophies by the CSO Promoter, Usoh and the NSF President, Oyerinde.
The Serve-off for the tournament was done by the Technical Director, Lagos Sports Board, Dayo alao and Chamberlain Usoh at exactly 12:05pm.
The first match of the main tournament was played by Veronica Sunday (Nigeria) and Enora Villard from France.
In all, 32 players from 12 countries (comprising 16 men and 16 women) are slugging it out for a total prize money of $35,000.
Other prizes/gifts have also been earmarked for fans who will be watching the matches.