Squash team heads off to defend Junior Caribbean title
By Avenash Ramzan
A dominant force in the Caribbean, the national junior squash team is ready and raring to compete in this year’s Caribbean Junior Squash Championship in the Cayman Islands.
A 26-member contingent, including four officials, will depart these shores tomorrow (Thursday) morning, and they are on a mission to once again rewrite the history books.
The Guyanese are looking to lift a 12th consecutive team title at the championship, which is set to serve off on July 16 and run until July 23. The team, which has been under the expert guidance of seasoned national coach, Carl Ince, comprises 13 boys and nine girls.
Ince, speaking to News Room on the eve of the team’s departure, said the preparation phase was good, and was even better than last year. He pointed out the players are supremely talented, and he is expecting great things from them during the one week competition.
Ince also related that the reason for Guyana’s tremendous success at the junior Caribbean level over the years is the outstanding talents that are being constantly recruited by the Guyana Squash Association.
Guyana has won the team title an incredible 11 times in a row, but manager of the team, Garfield Wiltshire, is bracing himself for a tough challenge this year, as according to him, the other countries have been consistently upping their game.
Despite this, he still believes the Association has been able to assemble a cadre of players fully capable of lifting the title once again.
Apart from corporate support from Digicel and Ansa McAl Trading and the great work of members of the association, Wiltshire declared that coach Ince has been the main reason behind Guyana’s outstanding performances over the years.
News Room also spoke to two key players of the Guyana team, Benjamin Mekdeci and Taylor Fernandes, who are expected to shoulder the country’s dreams of winning a 12th title on the trot.
Both players spoke of the intense preparation Ince put them through, while they expressed confidence of standing on the top podium spot once again.
Representatives of the Association’s two main partners, Digicel and Ansa McAl Trading, were also on yhand to wish the players well and recommit their support to the sport. Sponsorship Executive of Digicel, Luana Abrams, and Smalta Brand Manager, Anjeta Hinds, spoke of how proud their respective companies are to be associated with the champion squash team.
Guyana will be represented in the tournament by Benjamin Mekdeci, Alex Melville, Alexander Cheeks, Daniel Islam, Shomari Wiltshire, Anthony Islam, Demetrius DeAbreu, Samuel Ince- Carvalhal, Michael Alphonso, Kamir Khan, James Mekdeci, Mohryan Baksh, Saywak Rithew, Taylor Fernandes, Larissa Wiltshire, Rebecca Low, Mekeda Harding, Abosaide Cadogan, Maya Collins, Madison Fernandes, Kirsten Gomes and Georgana Paige Fernandes.
The officials are Coach Carl Ince, Assistant Coach Akelia Wiltshire, Manager Garfield Wiltshire and Assistant Manager David Fernandes.
Cover photo caption: Members of the team, including coach Carl Ince (seated centre), share a moment with Digicel’s representative Luana Abrams (seated right), and Anjeta Hinds (seated left) of Ansa McA Trading