Chelsie Takes St. Vincent By Storm

Barbadian Junior Squash players are raring to go in this year’s annual Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Junior Squash Championships which will be held in Barbados from July 17 – 26, 2015.

Just last weekend five Bajan juniors, including three boys (Alex Stewart, Zechariah Naitram and Zachary Proverbs-Harris) and two girls (Chelsie Samuel and Sumairaa Suleman) attended the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Junior Squash Open, which was held at the National Squash Centre in the capital, Kingstown.

Barbados Squash Juniors St. Vincent 2015
Front Row left to right: Alex Stewart, Sumairaa Suleman and Chelsie Samuel. Back Row left to right: Zachary Proverbs-Harris and Zechariah Naitram.

All five players won medals in their respective age categories, however Chelsie Samuel, who is coached by National Junior Coach, Rhett Cumberbatch, was the pick of the Barbadian squash players.  The 11 year old St. Ursaline Convent student not only won the Girls Under-13 title but also captured the Girls Under-15 title as well from Vincentians Lauryn Doyle and Jada Ross, who were seeded at #1 and #2 respectively. Sumairaa Suleman finished third in the Girls Under-13 Division.

Winners St. Vincent Junior Squash Open 2015
Left to Right. Jason Doyle (SVG) BU-19 Champion, Chelsie Samuel (B’DOS) GU-13 and GU-15 Champion, Kai Bentick (SVG) BU-15 and BU-17 Champion and Alexandria Yearwood (TRI), GU-17 and GU-19 Champion.

The competition was very keen in the boy’s divisions. Alex Stewart finished second in the Boys Under-13 and Zechariah Naitram and Zachary Proverbs-Harris both finished third in the Boys Under-15 and Under-17 divisions respectively.  Vincentian Kai Bentick dominated both the Boys U-15 and U-17 divisions while their top seeded BU-19 player Jason Doyle magnificently took that division from Trinidadian challenger Nicolas Caddle.  Caddle was also second in the BU-17 division.

The local players are now gearing up for the national qualifiers, which take place in early April.  Barbados’ National Junior Coach, Rhett Cumberbatch, said he is pleased with the talent that he is seeing from the local juniors.  “Barbados has not won Junior CASA since my time as a junior, but we are certainly on our way back. The performances of our top juniors like Meagan Best, Khamal Cumberbatch and Amanda Haywood at the U.S. and Canadian Open Championships at the end of last year have really helped to boost the overall morale of our players and they are now more focused and working hard.  I expect that the Barbados junior team will be very competitive this year, especially with players like Chelsie and the others coming along the way they are.” Cumberbatch added.

St. Vincent Open Squash Junior players
Players in the trophy presentation ceremony at the 2015 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Junior Squash Open.

Over 100 junior players from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and a combined O.E.C.S. team are expected to attend this year’s Junior CASA Championships in Barbados.