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Ibadan set for JGM national squash tournament



The ancient city of Ibadan is preparing to host one of the most anticipated tournaments on the Nigerian squash calendar: the JGM U-19 and U-16 Boys and Girls National Squash Tournament.
The event will be held at the Ibadan Recreation Club from 3-6 April.

In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, Tournament Director Debo Ogunmuyiwa shared details about the upcoming event.

This year’s tournament is being held “in conjunction with the Nigerian Squash Federation, the Oyo State Squash Association, and the Ibadan Recreation Club,” Mr Ogunmuyiwa explained.
The Nigerian Squash Federation plays a critical role by “sanctioning the tournament and making it national,” he said.

Tournament details

In addition to the main competition, there will be a special side attraction featuring the four best-ranked squash players in Nigeria: Gabriel Olufumilayo, Kehinde Samuel, Abel Shedrack, and Faruq Suleiman.
Registration for the tournament closed last Thursday with over 120 entries received, though Ogunmuyiwa hinted the number will be slightly reduced after a final review.
The tournament will provide meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for all participants and officials throughout the event, and there will even be an after-party to celebrate the competition.

Inclusive Prizes

According to the tournament director, monetary prizes totalling one million Naira will be awarded, with everyone reaching the round of 16 or above receiving a payout. Mr Ogunmuyiwa emphasised that “the prize money is equal across the sexes.”
He added, “Nobody will come for the tournament and not go home with a package. We have a squash package for them.”

Steady growth
The JGM Squash Tournament boasts a history of steady growth.
Originally starting as a clinic for a small group five years ago, it evolved into a tournament for Southwest states and has now become a sanctioned national tournament.
Mr Ogunmuyiwa highlighted the success stories of past participants, including finalists from the U-19 boys category who “actually did very well in some of the recently held national tournaments,” he said.
Similar improvements have been seen among female participants as well.
He noted the growing acceptance of squash across the country and role being played by corporate sponsors like JGM which is owned by a former national squash champion, Niyi Oyewumi.
He said: “Mr Oyewumi was back then the first junior squash player to be selected alongside other senior players to attend and represent Nigeria at the Hi-Tech British Open Squash Championship in London in the year 1991.

Opening day battles
From the full schedule already released, some of the interesting opening day fixtures have Joshua Daniel facing Ejiro Godspower in the U-19 Boys category.
The U-16 boys’ Preliminary Round will feature Damilare Awe against Bright Monday.
For the Girls U-19 category, Deborah Idowu and Adesewa Adedeji will be battling for supremacy in another interesting opening-day fixture.
With its focus on inclusivity, exciting competition, and rewarding both achievement and participation, the JGM National Squash Tournament promises to be a major event for the sport in Nigeria.

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