The strongest junior squash team that Barbados has ever assembled left Grantley Adams International Airport earlier Friday morning for Grand Cayman to participate in the 34th annual Caribbean Junior Squash Championships.
Barbados Squash Association president Monty Cumberbatch noted that in six of the ten individual age group competitions, Barbadian players had been seeded at No.1, including all five of the Barbadian gold medal winners from last year’s competition, who are all returning to defend their respective titles and are all expected to win.
These five reigning Caribbean champions are: Sumairaa Suleman (U-13); Meagan Best and Khamal Cumberbatch (U15); the girls team captain, Amanda Haywood, and Josiah Shemane Griffith (U17).
In addition, eight other local players have received a seeding this year, including Alex Stewart and Aiden Parris, seeded at No.1 and 2 respectively in the newly created U-11 category; Darien Benn, who is the U-13 No.2 seed; Reginald Brewster seeded at No.3/4 (U-17); and boy’s team captain, Benjamin Griffith, and Zachary Proverbs-Harris who have been seeded at No.3/4 and No.5/8 respectively in the U-19 age group.
In the girl’s contingent, little Rebekah Nichols is one of three players in the inaugural U-11 competition and Chelsie Samuel has been seeded at NO.5/8 in the U-15 category.
Rounding out the Barbados contingent of 17 players this year are the twins Jada and Jodi Smith-Padmore (U-15); as well as Ryan Archer and Kemar Lord who will both play in the U-15 age group.
Team manager Jo Haywood will be supported by national junior team coach, Rhett Cumberbatch, and the Barbados team was accompanied by a large contingent of parents and supporters.
The three-day individual competition begins in Cayman tomorrow and precedes the five-day team competition that begins on July 19 and ends on July 23. The Barbados team will return home on July 24 at 10 p.m.