The Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, has promised to organise a squash tournament in the first quarter of 2017 to promote and propagate the game across the state.
The Governor, who stated this at an invitational Squash tournament held to celebrate the 55th birthday anniversary of the Permanent Secretary in charge of State Protocol, Mr. Joseph Akedesuo in Yenagoa, said the tournament will also be used to discover and groom local talents in the game.
He expressed his desire to encourage home-grown Bayelsa players to excel in the game of squash at higher levels, stressing that, efforts would be made to develop facilities for the game at strategic locations around the state to encourage the participation young Bayelsans in the game.
According to him, in addition to the development of the facilities, competent and qualified persons will be engaged to teach the game, discover talents and groom them to stardom, through special programmes.
Dickson, who congratulated the celebrant on his 55th birthday also prayed God to continue to bless, guide and protect him as well as give him the grace to achieve greater goals in life.
In his remarks, the celebrant, Mr. Joseph Akedesuo, thanked the Governor for finding time to attend the event, describing it as a source of inspiration to him and the squash players, especially the nationally ranked ones, who had to abandon other scheduled tournaments to come to Bayelsa.
The celebrant, who spoke of the health benefits of playing squash, commended the Governor’s decision to encourage greater participation of Bayelsans in the game, noting that, it will go a long way in improving the physical health of the people.
Highlights of the event, include an exhibition match between the Governor and the celebrant, as well as matches that featured the numbers three, four and five ranked players in the country, Titah Jama, Bala Abubakar and Wasiu Bello and some young, up and coming Bayelsa players.
The event also had in attendance, the Secretary to State Government, Chief David Serena Dokubo-Spiff, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Doodei Week and one-time Nigerian and African Women’s Champion, Tari Tikili.