Winners have emerged at the second edition of the Ayodeji Adekunle South-West invitational Under-13 and Under-16 boys and girls tournament.
The competition served off on December 14 and ended on December 16, 2023, at the Ibadan Recreation Club, Oyo State.
TOP MEDIA reports that the Ayodeji Adetunji Adekunle Foundation has consistently promoted squash development in Nigeria, most especially at the grassroots level.
No fewer than 40 players from across Nigeria’s southwest region participated in the tournament: six players from Lagos State, five from Ondo State, and four players each from Osun and Ogun. The host state, Oyo, had seven players; Headwaters Squash Academy five, Mena Sports Academy four while Yellowdot had five representatives at the championship.
How winners emerged
In the U-16 girls category, Zainab Ishola of Lagos State defeated Mariam Taofeek of Ondo State 3-0. Also, Joshua Daniel (boys) of Lagos State won his match 3-1 against Benjamin Monday of Headwaters Squash Academy.
In the U-13 girls category, Elizabeth Adebayo of Ogun State beat Bibiana Iyelih-Omoefe of Mena Sports Academy Club 3-0. Peter Adeleke (boys) of Ogun gave a good account of himself, defeating Daniel Awe of Oyo State 3-2.
‘Nigerian squash blessed with promising talents’ – Tournament’s convener
Ayo Adekunle, the founder of the foundation, described the quality of the skills of the young players displayed at the tournament as promising. He stressed that the tournament was geared towards developing upcoming players at the grassroots.
“I’m really impressed and satisfied with the skills displayed here. This shows that there is something promising about these players. They have proven themselves.
“We intend to sustain this. This year’s edition is better, so by God’s grace, next year’s edition will be bigger and better. The result of the seed we’re sowing now will bear good fruits soon.”
‘Ayodeji Adekunle championship delivered high-level squash’ – Tournament’s Director
Speaking in a similar vein, Seun Peters, the tournament’s Director, said the level of competitiveness and display of skills among the budding talents was encouraging.
“The playing skills of these players were impressive. The semi-finals were intriguing and very tough.
“Normally in most junior tournaments, tough games start from round-of-16 or mostly quarterfinals. However, the toughness of the matches started from the first round, which made some matches appear as ‘final-before-final.
“There were a lot of close point-winning moments, especially in the boys’ category. So the level of competitiveness was very high.”