Warwickshire teens travel to London for national squash tournament

Ismail Khalil is poised for success at the squash English Junior Championships in London, having been selected as the first seed in the boys U17s.
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Squash is the Olympics’ newest sport, set to make its debut at the LA28 Games, meaning these young Warwickshire players can now dream of being Olympians in the near future. The EJC, run by England Squash, takes place across 9-11 February with five London venues hosting matches.

Warwickshire has great representation at the event, with Khalil, who won the boys U15s last year, expected to win the boys U17s. Meanwhile, Mariam Eissa is the second seed in the girls U19s after reaching the final in October’s British Junior Championships. Her brother, Abd-Allah, will be competing in the boys U19s and is also seeded second.

There is strong Warwickshire representation in the lower age groups too, with Ameerah Ismail [2] in the girls U15s, Nadiya Ismail [2] in the girls U13s, and in the girls U11 Siona Mishra is the favourite following her victory at the British Junior Championships last year.

Mariam Eissa in actionMariam Eissa in action
Mariam Eissa in action

More than three hundred competitors will take part in the Championships spanning eleven age categories, starting from mixed U9s, up to girls and boys U19s.

England Squash CEO Mark Williams spoke about his excitement for the event. He said: “I am delighted to welcome all players, parents, coaches and supporters to London for what we anticipate will be a fantastic weekend of squash.

“The English Junior Closed is one of the big three' junior events of the season and I am delighted that we have had such a fantastic entry, with 350 players from all over the country coming to compete for the English junior titles.”

Commonwealth Games champion Gina Kennedy discussed the importance of events like the EJC. She said: “The English Junior Championships is a brilliant event and was a big part of my junior career. I competed in it every year, and was lucky enough to win it five times, so it was definitely great for my development.

“It’s a really exciting time for the sport following the Olympic Games announcement, so I’m sure it will be another successful event, and it’ll be great to see some of the talent we have coming through.”

For more information and to see live results, visit: https://www.englandsquash.com/ejc/draws-and-results and to find out how children can get involved in squash locally, visit: www.squashstars.co.uk.