Town’s young squash champs topple their competitors

Jakes Matthew and Ayanda Ntimane.

Two local squash players excelled at the recent 2017 Mpumalanga Junior Squash Championships. Ayanda Ntimane, from Barberton Primary, was crowned the girls u/13 champion and won a gold medal.

Hoërskool Barberton’s Jakes Matthew finished third in the boys u/14 category, winning himself a bronze medal.

The tournament took place at Sasol Secunda Recreation Club, where players from all over the province participated.

They played with the hope of qualifying for the Mpumalanga team – made up of four people per age group – which will compete in the South African Country Schools Squash Festival in Bloemfontein on April 28 to May 1.

Various provinces as well as neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe will participate in this exciting competition.

Ayanda is already well known in this sport as her eldest sister, Nothando, currently studies at the University of Pretoria on a squash scholarship.

Ayanda played and won all her matches 3-0, and subsequently made it onto the Mpumalanga Team.

Jakes is not new to the game either. An active member of Barberton Squash Club (De Kaap), he previously participated in the 2016 Mpumalanga Junior Championships. He, too, made it to the provincial team. Jakes says he is proud to have been selected for the team that will participate in the SA country Festival.

According to dad Patrick Ntimane, Barberton Squash Club is well known for producing champions through their development programme.

“Both players will be embarking on a fund-raising project because of the high costs of the tournament in Bloemfontein.

“Small and large enterprises are therefore encouraged to come forward with any funding for the young champions.

“For those who would like to learn the game of squash, please contact Amanda Bessenger at Bessenger and Associates,” Patrick concluded.

Bridget Mpande

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