General Alliance Insurance Squash Tournament, which starts today at College of Medicine (CoM) Sports Complex in Blantyre, will be used to monitor players ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Squash Malawi vice-president Gordon Benbow told The Nation yesterday that the three-day tournament is the first event in their two-year talent development and monitoring plan in preparation for the prestigious international competition.
According to Benbow, Malawi failed to participate in the 2014 Commonwealth Games because they did not have enough up-and-coming players to take up the challenge from ageing talents.
“In 2014, we excused ourselves from the international event because we felt featuring our top-seed James Matewere alongside other top-three players Julius and Aubrey Taulo, four years after they represented the country at the same event, could mean we were not making progress in our development agenda,” he said.
“Moreover, we had no young talents good enough to step into the top players’ shoes. But now we have a number of upcoming players such as Chiyembekezo Matewere, Chisomo Taulo and James Chafukira, who are in the development squad.
“Nevertheless, these players need to be monitored and learn the ropes the hard way through competitive domestic contests if we are to build a strong squad capable of winning medals abroad.”
General Alliance Squad reigning champion James Matewere said he is set to hog the limelight and defend the crown at CoM so as to teach the youngsters a valuable lesson.
“These youngsters need a baptism of fire to get to that level of playing at high-profile international events such as the Commonwealth Games,” Matewere said.
General Alliance Insurance Company has pumped K500 000 into this year’s competition, which will run from this afternoon to Sunday afternoon. n