Squash players ready to compete for Cayman

| 08/07/2015
Cayman News Service

Members of the squash team heading to Barbados

(CNS): Cayman’s young squash players are all set for tough competition when they head to Barbados next week to represent the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean Area Squash Association’s (CASA) annual junior tournament, but they go well prepared and with high hopes for success.

For many players, this will not be their first time they have represented Cayman in the CASA tournament, as many have been playing squash for a number of years.

Countries competing in Junior CASA other than Cayman and the host nation, Barbados, are: Bermuda, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad, OESC (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). The Junior CASA Championships take place from 17 to 26 July.

Coach Mark Chaloner, who teaches the junior squash players at the South Sound Squash Club, said the squad has worked extremely hard this year to get themselves into peak fitness in preparation for the tournament.

“The squad has been comprised from the results of the National Junior Championships, which were held earlier this year,” he said. “Since then they have all had added training to develop their skills and improve their fitness to give them the best chance possible to achieve better finishing positions than in previous tournaments.”

Chaloner added the juniors have benefitted greatly from input from the community.

“Excellent sponsors such as Maples, Carey Olsen, Baker Tilly, CNB, AON, The London & Amsterdam Trust, RSM and Butterfield have sponsored the junior team throughout the year, which has proved to be a huge help as far as getting a larger number of junior players to CASA this year,” he said.

“It is great that we are able to take 18 youngsters to Barbados, giving them important exposure to greater competition which will hopefully, in turn, help them gain a deeper knowledge of squash and help them gain important life skills from the responsibility of representing their country abroad.”

Cayman News Service

(L-R) Brothers Julian and Jace Jervis are both competing in the tournament

Julian Jervis, 17, has been playing squash competitively for five years and has represented Cayman in a number of overseas tournaments. He is seeded number 3/4 in his U-19 division. His one aim is to win the title, he said.

Julian’s younger brother, Jace, 10, has been playing squash for 18 months and is also competing at the CASA tournament, in the U-13 category. This is Jace’s first-ever international tournament and he said he hopes to gain valuable experience, make new friends and follow in his older brother’s footsteps one day.

The 2015 Junior CASA will mark Lara Conolly’s last year playing in this category. The 18 year old has been Cayman’s number one female junior player since 2010 at the U-15, U-17 and U-19 levels. Lara said she has made many friends, travelled to several tournaments and thoroughly enjoyed representing her country. In Barbados this year she is looking forward to improving her last ranking and meeting new and old squash friends from the region.

Twins Daniel and Sean Murphy have also represented their country in many international squash tournaments and both have been playing squash for eight years and are competing in the U-19 division.

At 17, Mischa Kluyver is playing in CASA’s U-19 category this year. Ally Artuch has been playing squash for five years and this is her fourth time representing Cayman at CASA.

Another seasoned international competitor, Gyles Luke, 16, who has been playing squash for seven years, said he hopes to have a different experience to all his other times at CASA as this will be his first time going to Barbados.

Christian Dubè, 16, is a 10-year veteran of the game and is competing in the U-17 group. Isaiah Robinson, 15, has been playing squash for five years, four of which he has represented Cayman at CASA.

Emma Turnbull, 15, has been playing squash competitively for six years and is competing in the U-17 category. This is her second time representing Cayman at CASA.

Kali MacLean, 15, is also competing in the U-17 category, having played squash competitively for six years and then some years before that with her family.

Jasun Sairsingh, 14, started playing squash at age nine and is competing in the U-15 category. Sisters Vanessa (14) and Lauren Fullerton (12) are playing in the U-15 and U-13 categories, respectively.

Twins Jade and David Pitcairn, 13, are competing in the U-15 category. Chaloner said both played at CASA last year in Bermuda during which they surpassed their expectations for placings. As a result, they’ve both put in a tremendous amount of training this year.

Although Pierce Terry is just 11, he has been playing squash for six years and will be competing in the group event at CASA. His main aim is to gain international experience and have fun.

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Category: Sports, Squash

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