Two junior squash teams make their mark at Bloemfontein provincial tournament
A group of Namibian junior squash players competed in a provincial tournament in Bloemfontein, South Africa, at the beginning of May, where two teams managed a second spot in their respective categories.
At the Bloemfontein Junior Squash Country Festival, u/19 boys and girls, and u/16 boys A and B teams played against teams from the North West, Mpumalanga, the Free State and Eastern Cape provinces where the objective is to give players from the smaller provinces an opportunity to be elected for the annual SA Inter-provincial tournament. The Bloemfontein event regularly draws some of South Africa top junior squash players.
Some of the youthful Namibian players competed against the top ten in South Africa in their respective groups, but also against lower ranked players. The Namibians won a substantial number of their games between the different age groups.
The girls u/19 and boys u/16 A teams came both second in their respective competitions while the u/19 boys ended 6th out of 12 provincial teams.
Tour manager Henk Knipe said “it is incredible to see how the Namibians improve their own game over the weekend of intensive squash. You can also see the improvement of the level of Namibian squash each year we return for the competition. This is a clear indication that we do have the talent, but that our exposure to this level of squash is our biggest challenge and limitation”.
Taking into consideration the improvement over the past years and the achievements this year, he commented “if we focus the coming year on depth and development to create more competition opportunities, and with the help of senior squash players to give our top juniors good exposure, we will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.”
The tour to Bloemfontein was mostly funded by the parents with some financial support from the Namibian Squash Association. “We wish to congratulate each player that took part this year, winning or losing, we thank you for being such great ambassadors on and off the court and we believe that you had grown as individuals also. Please continue to practise and develop your skills for next year’s tour and get your friends joining us” Knipe concluded.