FUJAIRAH: On Saturday, 25th November, the Tennis & Country Club Fujairah hosted the 2nd Junior Squash Grand Prix of 2023.
The Round Robin format of the event allowed for more matches whereby players played every single other player in their age category. Most players were very happy when the event closed with the prize giving at 6pm on Saturday evening.
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 feature of our event this weekend was not only the increase in numbers of female players, but also the rising standard of their squash skills. With Squash being selected to feature in the Summer Olympic Games in 2028, Mr. Salem reiterated the importance of female championship events coming to the forefront.
In the Girls age categories, the following champions and runner-ups were crowned. In the Under 11 category Mariam Mahmoud El Wakeel topped the podium, with Joy Mario Ralik in silver medal position and Layla Kortam in third. In the Under 15 category Rodina Islam was crowned champion, with Hana Askar in second and Mariam Afifi a close third place.
The Boys categories were just as exciting. Some of the girls in the same age groups joined the boys, and performed very well. In the under 9 age group, Saleem Wahdan took top honors, with Alvin Fernandes in a close second place. Layla Kortam completed the top three positions in this category. In the Under 11 section, Alden Fernandes, brother to Alvin, was crowned champion. Alden, a previous multiple champion, showed his class throughout the day. Saleem Wahdan and Viam Damarla received the silver and bronze medals.
The Under 13 age group saw Alden Fernandes once again taking the gold medal and championship trophy. Mariam Afifi took a well-deserved silver medal with Naser El-Jeaan in third place. In the Boys Under 15 age group, Hana Askar won the gold medal with Rodina Islam in silver position. Naser El-Jeaan took the bronze medal.
Tournament Director, Jacques Harmse, commented on the impact of the Junior events, “The rise in numbers entering the girls’ sections is a reflection of the hard work squash academies around the UAE, are putting into their girls programs.” 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.”