Empowering Nigerian Youth through Squash and mentorship

When it comes to Squash at a grassroots level, there’s one youth initiative that is going help shape the sport in a great way – the Jacob Esuene Sports Club.

Squash Academy Nigeria

For any young person, growing up in Nigeria presents its own unique challenges and opportunities, shaping individuals to become resilient and adaptable.

This dichotomy is particularly evident for the youth, as they navigate a complex environment that demands strength to face any obstacle that comes their way.

Putting that into the context of Squash, Nigeria is another country that has a strong legacy – however, when it comes to providing opportunities and provision to the next generation, the Jacob Esuene Sports Club, a non-for-profit organisation aimed at providing underserved children and youths in Eket Akwa-Ibom with opportunities to thrive and become beacons of positive change.

The Birth of a Vision

The heart of every Nigerian beats with the spirit of a fighter, ready to conquer challenges and emerge victorious with the right guidance – when it comes to Squash, this notion applies. Unfortunately, not every child has access to this guidance.

This realisation led to the birth of the Jacob Esuene Squash Club in 2017, inaugurated by Engr Iniobong Esuene. A true visionary Nigerian, he recognized the potential within young people and saw squash as a vehicle to not only empower them physically but also to instil valuable life skills.

Meet the Founder

Engr Iniobong Esuene

Engr Iniobong Esuene Photo credit: Jacob Esuene Sports Club

Engr Iniobong Esuene, a proud Nigerian from Ibi-bio in Eket Akwa Ibom State, embodies excellence, selflessness, and discipline. A devout Christian, he felt a calling to encourage the sport of squash among the youth, simultaneously providing them with mentorship and empowerment to become catalysts for positive change. Esuene’s journey has been marked by challenges, yet his dedication to nurturing these children’s potential shines through.

Engr with students

2018 Akwa Ibom Youth Sports Festival (Photo credit: Jacob Esuene Sports Club)

His infectious laughter and radiant smile light up any room, reflecting his unwavering optimism regardless of circumstances. As a visionary leader, Engr Iniobong Esuene’s leadership prowess extends beyond squash. A problem-solver by nature, he effortlessly delves into multiple fields, consistently delivering solutions that drive progress. His innate leadership qualities and unwavering dedication make him a force to be reckoned with, inspiring those around him to aspire to greatness.

He is truly a beacon of support, as beyond his impressive achievements, Engr Iniobong Esuene stands as a mentor, father figure, and unwavering source of support to every child within the academy. His commitment to their growth extends beyond the court, making him an incredible friend and teacher. Despite his busy schedule, he remains actively engaged in their lives, a testament to his genuine care for their holistic development.

A Legacy of Success

The impact of Jacob Esuene Squash Club has transcended borders. Through Mr. Esuene’s guidance, the club has not only excelled locally but has gained international recognition.

So far, the club’s impressive rankings include 3rd in the Nigeria Squash Federation (NSF) and 2nd in the Nigeria Squash Player U-19 Girls category. Their achievements have garnered attention from national squash associations and media outlets, like the Guardian Newspaper.

Since its inception in 2017, the Jacob Esuene Squash Club has become a beacon of hope for underserved children and youths.

The club’s remarkable growth has led to a collection of 14 Gold medals, 9 Silver medals, and 19 Bronze medals, a testament to Mr Esuene’s visionary guidance and leadership skills. His legacy will forever stand as a testament to the transformative power of one individual’s dedication to making a difference.

Other successes in squash have seen some children competing at a national level and one student became a National U-13 third seed and South-South champion.

Jacob Esuene Squash Club isn’t just about sports; it’s a beacon of empowerment for young people from diverse backgrounds. The club’s mission to provide an enabling environment for underserved children and youths to harness their talents and gifts is truly inspiring. Since its establishment, JESC has remained committed to uplifting the community and nurturing the potential within each participant.

When it comes to academics, the JESC educational program has seen over 10 of their participating children into schools from their local community; from which these children have so far a 100% pass rate.

One of their students received a scholarship through the JESAW program and went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Uyo, Nigeria.

Besides Squash, students with support from the members have gained skills in photography, fashion designing, shoe making and more.

Final Thoughts

The story of Jacob Esuene Squash Club is a testament to the impact that a single individual with a vision can have on an entire community. Engr Iniobong Esuene’s commitment to empowering Nigerian youth through sport and mentorship has not only transformed lives but has also created a legacy of positive change.

Jacob Esuene Squash Club

Jacob Esuene Squash Club juniors (credit: Jacob Esuene Squash Club Facebook)

As the club continues to thrive, it serves as a reminder that every effort, no matter how small, has the potential to make a lasting impact on the lives of young people and society as a whole.

We are happy to be their overseas Squash initiative partner and look forward to continuing to support them in any way or form.

If you’re inspired by the Jacob Esuene Squash Club’s mission and want to be a part of their journey, there are various ways to get involved. To join the club, leave a message in the comments or visit their website at jesconline.org.

For those interested in supporting their cause through sponsorships or donations, reach out to them via their social media handles.