On Saturday, 14th January 2023, the Tennis & Country Club Fujairah hosted the first big Junior Squash Tournament of the year. Players from as far as Abu Dhabi competed for the first coveted titles of the 2023 year.
The event was graced by the presence of Mr. A. Ghafour Behrozian, Chairman of TCCF, and Mr. Najib Salem, the Secretary General of the UAE Squash Association. Mr. Ghafour thanked Mr. Salem for the Association’s interest and support of squash activities in Fujairah. Mr. Salem presented the first 3 positions of each age category with medals donated by the UAE Squash Association.
The most important fact to immerge from the past weekend’s tournament is that squash is growing in the lower age categories across the UAE. The under 9 and under 11 boys and girls groups were filled by a large percentage of new players who have not yet before competed in tournaments and who are new to the competitive side of squash.
Ms. Hania Reggi, Marketing and Sales Manager for TCCF reiterated that this is a remarkable achievement by all organisers hosting tournaments to encourage the sport to grow at junior level.
In the Girls age categories, the following champions and runner-ups were crowned. In the Under 11 category Kavyaa Doshi defeated Ahana More in a close fought battle. The under 15 age category was won by Kairavi Sachdev who overcame Ahana More. Riya Ananthanpillai displayed her superior racket skills in securing the under 19 Girls title by defeating Kairavi Sachdev.
The Boys age categories kept the spectators glued to their seats for the entire day. In the Under 9 age category Abdulrahman from the Ras Al Khaimah Hotel team, showed that he is a future star to be reckoned with. In the Under 9 category Abdulrahman defeated another Ras Al Khaimah teammate, Vian Damarla in a hard-fought match. Abdulrahman then met Zain Ahmed Fathi from Abu Dhabi in the final of the under 11 age category. Zain is however a star in his age groups and despite Abdulrahman competing as best as he could, Zain was too strong for him.
Zain Ahmed Fathi was also crowned the under 13 champion by overcoming a valiant onslaught from Alden Fernandes. In the under 15 category Rohan Roy, who has been competing in various international events, defeated Aboubakr Tarek in a scintillating display of squash strategy and racket skills. Rohan Roy continued his winning streak by beating Malank Damarla in the under 17 age category in a match all the spectators agreed was a highlight of the weekend.
In the final of the under 19 Boys category, Malank Damarla defeated Riya Ananthanpillai, who competed in both the Boys and Girls sections.
Tournament Director, Jacques Harmse, commented on the impact of the Junior events, “We believe hosting more junior events is very important for the future development of squash in our country. It is also a unique and special opportunity for the best players across the UAE to come together to have fun, forge new friendships, and of course compete for the titles.” He also commented that Squash tournaments in the Fujairah Emirate would not be possible without the support of the TCCF Management and local club members.”