Winners have emerged at the second edition of the Ayodeji Adekunle South-West invitational U- 13 and U-16 boys and girls, which served off from December 14 and ended December 16 at the Ibadan Recreation Club Oyo State.
The Ayodeji Adetunji Adekunle Foundation has consistently promoted squash’s development most especially at the grassroots level.
No fewer than 40 players from across the South-West participated in the tournament. Six players represented Lagos State, five players from Ondo State, four players each from Osun and Ogun.
The host state Oyo had seven players, Headwaters Squash Academy had five, Mena Sports Academy had four while Yellowdot had five representatives at the championships.
In the U -13 Girls category, Elizabeth Adebayo of Ogun defeated Bibiana Iyelih-Omoefe of Mena Sports Academy Club 3-0, while Peter Adeleke of Ogun gave a good account of himself defeating Daniel Awe of Oyo State 3-2.
In the U-16 Girls category, Zainab Ishola of Lagos State defeated Mariam Taofeek of Ondo State 3-0, while Joshua Daniel of Lagos State won his match 3-1 against Benjamin Monday of Headwaters Squash Academy 3-1.
Ayo Adekunle, founder of the foundation, described the quality of the skills of the young players displayed at the tournament as promising. He said the tournament was geared towards developing upcoming players at the grassroots.
“I’m really impressed and satisfied with the skills displayed here today, this shows that there’s something promising about these players. They have proven themselves. We intend to continue 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,” he said.
Similarly, Seun Peters, the Tournament Director of the competition, said the level of competitiveness and display of skills among the budding talents was very high and encouraging.
He said: “The playing skills of these players were impressive and the semi-finals were intriguing; were very tough and encouraging.
“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.