In an era where attention is concentrated on team sport ball game such as football, a squash ardent, Wasiu Bello, has kicked off a campaign to woo support from stakeholders in and outside the country.
Bello was team captain and gold medalist at the last National Sports Festival to be held – Eko 2012. Presently, he is the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Professional Squash Players Association of Nigeria (PSPAN).
Bello, Technical Director of the last two editions of the prestigious Chamberlain Squash Open (CSO) aim to use the movement to drive support for a sport that gives youths the opportunity to secure scholarship and travel overseas to pursue other career(s) in life.
The Lagos-born squash enthusiast writes on his Facebook page:
“Dear squash lovers
Dear squash ex professionals
Dear squash members
PLEASE, GIVE BACK TO SQUASH.
The campaign is to bring back the sport to life and help the future champions.
We need to keep the kids busy and pick the youths from the street.
Please support the game of squash #GiveBackToSquash #squash #who #glo #worldwide #fly #psaworldtour #chamberlainsquashopen
#ecowas #africa #european #asian #sports”
Nigeria possess promising talents such as Onaopemipo Adegoke, Abel Shedrack, Gabriel Olufunmilayo and Rofiat Abdul Azeez. However, lack of enough top-level tournaments to compete in-cum-exposure and insufficient support (especially from government) is hampering these youngsters’ development.
2017 Zimbabwe Open Squash champion, Sodiq Taiwo, CSO first edition women champion, Yemisi Olatunji, perched national squash player, Abdulrahaman Olanrewaju Yusuff, et al, for a long time now have been bearing the nation’s hope in the sport, but state of affairs in the racket sport have not been encouraging.
Professional Squash Association, PSA event, the Lagos International Squash Classics only returned this year after a four-year deficiency. And thanks to Sport Promoter, Chamberlain Usoh, CSO has been held twice within the last nine months.
Chamberlain Open was refereed mainly by Nasser Sayed Zahran Mohamed of the World Squash Federation (WSF), and best local referees – Oluwaseun Peters, Amos Haruna and Tinu Adebayo – gained more recognition.
Apparently, more individual and corporate sponsors are needed to support a sport widely believed to be the healthiest in the world. The support is necessary in organizing tournaments for local players to sharpen their skills and prepare them for competitions against the very best in the world.
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