Ninvalle touts construction of Doubles squash court
By Akeem Greene
The Guyana Squash Association (GSA) is set to host the Junior Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Championships from July 9-16 and the fraternity received most-welcoming news at the launch on Thursday, with the Director of Sport, Steve Ninvalle, touting the construction of a Doubles court.
The Doubles court is larger than the standard court and while Guyana competes in doubles at international and regional tournaments, the lack of the facility in Guyana and most Caribbean countries puts them at a significant disadvantage when it comes to preparation, and bidding to host international tournaments.
However, that could soon change, compliments of the National Sports Commission and by extension, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the government of Guyana.
Ninvalle, who hailed the GSA as “one of the most organised sport associations in Guyana, stated: “We are looking to see how soon we can create a Doubles court for squash. This would mean that we can have more international tournaments, which would of course lead to the betterment of the sport.”
GSA and Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) Treasurer, Garfield Wiltshire, welcomed the news and highlighted that when constructed, it would be “one of the first in the Caribbean.”
GSA Vice-president, David Fernandes, thanked the numerous sponsors for their support in making the event possible and highlighted that it is a team effort that secured Guyana the hosting rights after St. Vincent and the Grenadines opted out of hosting this year.
Vidya Sanichara, Communications Manager of Digicel Guyana, said the company was happy to extend its long-time partnership with the GSA, and it is more than just about fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility.
Other sponsors highlighted were John Fernandes Limited, MVP Sports and E-Networks. According to Fernandes, the partnership with E-Networks allows the GSA to live stream the event as most junior tournaments in the Caribbean do not have streaming.
The GSA Facebook page will stream matches.
DD Signs, AMCON Construction and Bounty Farms Limited were also mentioned as key sponsors along with the GOA, who is the premier title sponsor.
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.
After a welcome dinner, on June 9 at the National Racquet Centre, the individual championship will run from July 10-12 then the team segment follows from July 13.
Athletes are expected from Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St. Vincent and The Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
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 that the 13th title could be copped this year.