Review of the Open Illico Squash Tournament

On Saturday, April 13, 2024, Squash enthusiasts gathered at the Cercle Elais, for the thrilling final of the Open Illico Squash, in the centre of Kinshasa.

Open Squash DRC

The atmosphere of the tournament was charged with excitement as players battled it out in various categories, showcasing their skill and determination on the court.

This was another major local Open Squash tournament, organised by Bakolo Squash (BKS) Club at the Cercle Elais venue and serves as a platform for thrilling competition but also plays a crucial role in raising awareness of the sport in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Tournaments of this nature bring together players, spectators, and enthusiasts, shining a spotlight on the sport and its potential within the country.

Exciting games across the categories

BKS Club

Winners (credit: BKS Club and Squash DRC)

The tournament began on 10th April with participants from the different Squash clubs across the Democratic Republic of Congo, all took part in this prestigious tournament.

In the juniors’ category, Miyake Nzasi of BKS emerged victorious over Winner Yoka from Squash Elengi, clinching a 3-1 victory. The tension continued in the veteran’s category, where Grace Mpafu of Squash Elengi triumphed over Patrick Motayo, securing a 3-1 win.

The senior ladies’ division witnessed a hard-fought match between Hop Lungudi of BKS and Benedict Mumosi, with Lungudi emerging as the victor. Meanwhile, in the senior gentlemen’s category, Bianco Kibuila of BKS maintained his dominance by defeating teammate Joly Binga with a 3-0 scoreline.

Special commendations are also for the deserving winners across all categories and for all participants who showcased outstanding performance and sportsmanship throughout the event.

Working towards building awareness of Squash

Local tournaments like the Open Illico Squash serve as a window into the vibrant Squash community in the DRC and provide an opportunity for players from other countries to compete, exchange ideas, and build connections, thereby enhancing the DRC’s presence on the global squash stage. As the nation continues to host and participate in such events, its reputation as a rising force in Squash only grows stronger.

Furthermore, the Open Illico Squash provide an opportunity to showcase the talent and passion for squash that exists within the DRC, highlighting the skills and dedication of local players, these tournaments demonstrate to the world that the DRC is actively working towards becoming a powerhouse in the sport.

Each match, each victory, contributes to the narrative of the DRC’s journey towards excellence in Squash.

Moreover, the exposure generated by such tournaments helps to inspire the next generation of squash players in the DRC. Young athletes witnessing these competitions may be motivated to take up the sport themselves, leading to a grassroots movement that fosters growth and development at all levels. The visibility of squash events also encourages investment and support from both public and private sectors, further fuelling the sport’s expansion.

The Onyx Squash Academy takes great pride in its partnership with the BKS Club and Congolese Squash Association, a collaboration that underscores a shared commitment to fostering the growth and development of the sport in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

At the heart of this partnership lies a dedication to showcasing the sport and nurturing talent among young people of Congolese descent.

Central to our partnership is the mission to introduce squash to a wider audience within the DRC, particularly among young people who may not have previously had exposure to the sport. By engaging with local communities and schools, the Onyx Squash Academy and the Congolese Squash Association aim to raise awareness of squash as an accessible and enriching activity that promotes physical fitness, discipline, and camaraderie.

Key to the partnership is using every platform for showcasing the talent and potential of young Congolese players – with the long-term goal of playing on both national and international stages. Through training camps, tournaments, and possible exchange programs, promising athletes have the opportunity to hone their skills, gain valuable experience, and represent their country with pride.

The mission continues to grow Squash in the Congo

Ultimately, the collaboration between the Onyx Squash Academy and the Congolese Squash Association is more than just a partnership; it is a testament to the transformative power of sport in uplifting communities and empowering individuals. Together, they are dedicated to nurturing a new generation of squash enthusiasts and athletes who will not only excel on the court but also inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

In essence, tournaments like the Open Illico Squash are catalysts for change, driving the growth and recognition of Squash in the DRC. They not only celebrate the current achievements of players and clubs but also pave the way for a future where the DRC stands tall among the world’s Squash nations.

With each tournament, the journey towards becoming a superpower in Squash becomes more tangible, more achievable, and more inspiring for all involved. As the curtains close on another memorable tournament, the spirit of camaraderie and passion for the sport continue to thrive.

Here’s to the future success and growth of Congolese Squash, fueled by the dedication of local clubs, talented players, and sponsors alike.