Huge influx of athletes, officials and fans as Junior CASA serves off this weekend
By Akeem Greene
All systems are in place for Guyana to host the Junior Caribbean Area Squash Championships (CASA) from July 9-16.
Vice-President of the Guyana Squash Association, David Fernandes, said they have done most of the groundwork in upgrading the facilities ahead of the huge influx of athletes, officials and fans in the coming days.
Five courts – three at the Georgetown Club on Camp Street and two at the National Racquet Centre, on Woolford Avenue and Camp Road – will host matches in this year’s Junior CASA, a return of the event after two years.
Over the past few weeks, the Association has been sprucing up the main base – Georgetown Club – to ensure it can comfortably accommodate over 100 athletes from Under-11 to Under-19, and their parents and other supporters.
Apart from the general paint job at the Georgetown Club, work was done on the flooring and seating area, while at the Racquet Centre works were done on the wall and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, did a lot of work on the seating. Fernandes noted: “Both facilities will be in good shape.”
Additionally, they are seeking to ensure that despite the packed programme, they find time to ensure the athletes and their parents explore Guyana, as the entire contingent of persons should be just over 200. The Guyana Tourism Authority has also partnered with Squash Association in this venture.
As such, after the individual finals on Tuesday (July 12), the GSA plans to take the athletes on an adventure out of the city, but Fernandes indicated that some parents may opt to stay after the championships conclude and do their own tours of the country.
Though they have relaxed COVID-19 guidelines the athletes were tested prior to entering Guyana, as a safeguard measure to hopefully all those who would require tests to return home would potentially get negative results.
Noting that there is a high cost attached to hosting these Championships, Fernandes explained that the squash community is always eager to compete in Guyana, and it is added motivator for GSA to produce a top-class event.
Matches will be live-streamed on the Guyana Squash Association’s Facebook page, compliments of E-Networks.
Since 2017, when Guyana was dethroned by Barbados at home, they have not added another title to their 12 consecutive overall championship trophies, but there is hope brewing, the 13th title could be copped this year.