President Dr Irfaan Ali has met with members of the victorious Guyana Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Junior Championship teams on Monday, and has congratulated the athletes on winning the 2022 titles.
In his speech, the President noted that it is his intention to take squash all over the country, and arrangements in this regard are currently being finalised.
“It’s a project, it has to be run like a project. We are trying to push a lot of this in the ‘One Guyana’ umbrella. If there are any squash players who would like to be part of the whole programme – because, to spot talent across the country, they may have people who want to expand their credentials – we can always put them in the scholarship programme, and they can also advance in squash and at the same time they can also advance in their academic work,” the President has posited.
President Ali has also given his word that the junior squash athletes would be supported as they prepare for the WSF World Junior Championships, which are set for August 11-21, 2022. Further, he explained that his vision is to take the sport to the rest of the country, and have all the athletes become ambassadors as the journey continues.
Ali also commented, “One of the things we don’t make full use of is the asset of our sportsmen. If we can get people like her (Nicolette Fernandes) involved in the special project…
“We want to launch an initiative led by sportsmen and women. We are trying to get our former national footballers to be part of our school programmes. Many of them, their talent is not utilised. It’s the same thing with squash, if you have four or five good coaches that are out there, we can bring them into the system and see how we can support them,” the President has explained.
President Ali also encouraged the athletes to reach out to differently-abled children and bring them into the circle of squash, as this would make a positive contribution to the sport. He further detailed that it is not about winning, but how the sport is used to uplift all of Guyana.
“When you go out to play, you play for Guyana. You play for everything that is Guyanese, the people of this country. Now that you are champions, you have to use that victory for the wider society. So, I look forward to working with all of you, you can count on us for support,” the President has said.
The local contingent was able to win both the Boys’ and Girls’ categories of this year’s CASA event.