National squash coach Carl Ince says that he has already begun to see talent emerging in some of the students involved in the after school squash programme currently ongoing at the squash courts of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports National Racquet Centre, Camp Street.
“Right now we have at least two boys who are very promising. What we would like to do first is get a few of the really good ones and start a league, and get a few of our good players, ot the really good players but some of the other players that are at their level, and have them compete against each other,” Ince told Stabroek Sport in an exclusive interview recently.
He said that he has received positive feedback from the students, who have voiced their eagerness to continue in the sport and to put in the work.
“I did ask them last week [about how they feel about the programme], and they all said that they liked the programme and some of them even promised to go back to the courts to practice on their own.”
Ince recently took over the running of the programme, which began since January as an initiative of the Guyana Squash Association (GSA) under their sponsorship grant with telecommunications giant, Digicel.
Prior to Ince taking over coaching of the programme, it was conducted by several junior coaches.
The practice sessions involving students from a number of schools are being conducted at the courts every Friday from 3pm – 6pm. The programme initially began with sessions three days a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – from 3pm – 6pm, but was recently cut down to its current schedule.
President of the GSA, Andrew Arjune, explained that it was decided to cut down on the program’s schedule after the number of students involved in the program began to wane. Arjune related that it was also becoming a strain on many of the coaches, including himself, who were there on a voluntary basis.
Arjune suggested that the drop in students may be attributed to student’s academic demands, but noted that the program was well received, and the students were enthusiastic about being a part of the program.
According to Ince the program now has approximately 20 students. The program is a project that the Association had been eager to conduct since the commissioning of the courts at the Racquet Centre last year. Correspondence was sent to a number of schools within proximity to the squash centre, with the current program involving students from St. Stanislaus College, Marian Academy, Bishop’s High School, North Georgetown Secondary, Queen’s College and Richard Ishmael.
Ince implied that the ultimate goal of the program is to have all the schools integrating the sport into their curriculum, but noted that such a large scale project would have be a long term goal.
“We are hoping to eventually get to all of the school’s, but as you can appreciate, to coach too many students at once would be very difficult,” Ince said.