……As 2nd edition kicks off
The Lagos State Government, Squash lovers and other stakeholders in the sports industry have hailed the promoter of the Chamberlain Squash Open (CSO), Chamberlain Usoh, for sustaining the tournament, which has become a robust platform for the rapid development of squash in Nigeria.
Speaking at a press briefing held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos on May 4, 2018 to herald the second edition of the competition, the Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Babatunde Bank-Anthony described the event as a welcome development for Sports in the State.
He appreciated the efforts of the Promoter for his passion and determination in growing the unique indoor sport.
He said: “I would like to congratulate Mr Usoh on his upcoming Squash event and wish him much success.
‘’With the calibre of squash players participating at this tournament, this is a big boost to Lagos State Sports tourism drive.
“I commend him for taking the initiative in organizing this event. We look forward to more of such partnerships with your organization in the years ahead”, the Commissioner said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Promoter of CSO, Chamberlain Usoh said his passion for Squash propelled him to put together the tournament, which will not only reward players, but attract the youths to pursue a career in the game.
He clarified that the programme was not a jamboree, but a well thought out initiative with the golden objective of contributing immensely to the development of Squash at the grassroots and providing a robust platform that will birth and nurture a new generation of Squash players.
“These youths will proudly hoist the country’s flag on the international sporting arena”, he explained.
Usoh added that the competition will also deepen Squash in Nigeria by bringing it to the limelight.
He expressed delight on the traction the tournament has gained just within a year it was formally unveiled.
“We are glad to announce that this year’s outing, holding from May 6-12, 2018, is bigger and better in all ramifications. This informed our choice of Teslim Balogun Stadium to host the event.This time we are using an all-glass court that has a larger gallery to accommodate more fans who have duly registered online to be part of the event.
“We are also delighted that the World Squash Federation (WSF) has designated Nasser Sayed Zahran Mohamed as our main tournament Referee. We are confident that he will do a good job as his presence and expertise will really impact on the quality of officiating”, Usoh stated.
He said the second edition of the CSO was duly sanctioned by Professional Squash Association (PSA), which also swelled the number of PSA-ranked players that will be participating.
“In all, we have 32 PSA ranked foreign players and 25 local players competing for a prize money of $25,000 and $10,000 for the men and women categories respectively”, he explained.
The CSO Promoter also expressed his appreciation to Century Energy, Remita and Lagos State Government (via the Sports Commission), the media and other relevant stakeholders for supporting the programme.
For the players, the CSO has proved itself a unifier of Squash lovers by becoming a nexus for local and international players to interface.
Abdulrahman Lanre, a quarter-finalist at the maiden edition of the CSO said: “The tournament remains unique as it provides Nigerian players a strong platform to develop their game and compete with highly-rated players across the globe.
“So, on behalf of Nigeria squash players, I want to thank the promoter, Mr. Chamberlain Usoh for putting together this tournament.
“The 2017 Chamberlain Squash Ope was really a stepping stone for many indigenous players. The experience gained was huge. The 2017 tournament was exciting and I believe it would be better this year”, Lanre said excitedly.
Another player, Femi Shedara had this to say about CSO. ‘“Chamberlain Squash Open 2017 was a wonderful and want to commend the promoter for a job well done. I have been training hard for this tournament and I hope to go farther than I did in 2017.
“I am optimistic that this year event would be exciting and fun-filled than what we experienced last year”.
The qualifying rounds of the tournament holds from Monday 7th to Tuesday 8th May, 2018 but the main draw matches start on the opening ceremony which is the following day
More so, there are trophies for the winners and lots of gifts for our fans.