Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Four-member squash team off to Pan Am qualifiers

Published:Friday | June 2, 2023 | 12:29 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter
Tajhia Lumley (left) and Bruce Burrowes
Tajhia Lumley (left) and Bruce Burrowes

A four-member squash squad – Julian Morrison, Bruce Burrowes, Tajhia Lumley and Dane Schwier – will depart today to participate in the Pan American qualifiers in Cartegena, Colombia. The qualifiers will run from June 4-10.

President of the Jamaica Squash Association Karen Anderson is anticipating a tough qualifier but is optimistic of Jamaica’s chances of booking one of the six spots available for the Pan American Championships set for later this year.

“It’s going to be a very tough competition as it will be 14 teams vying for six spots. The strongest competitors will be from Mexico, United States, Canada, Colombia and Argentina. We are going up against the powerhouses in the Pan American region but we feel like we have a chance. If you don’t go, you don’t get a chance to compete and qualify so we’re looking to see how they manage,” she stated.

Anderson also sought to clear the air on the noticeable absence of the country’s most decorated squash player in Chris Binnie, who she stated was engaged in other work-related activities.

“Chris (Binnie) had other work assignments that he had to take care of and so he was unavailable to participate in this event. We are looking forward to having him for the senior Caribbean championships but for this one he wasn’t able to get the time off,” Anderson added.

Reigning national champion Julian Morrison believes the team is well prepared to undertake the task as they’ve been in intense training for the past two months. He added that the hot temperature in Colombia during this period is similar to that of Jamaica so he doesn’t believe that that will pose an issue.

“You can expect that we will be giving 100 per cent as we’ve been putting in a lot of work for the past two months to really prepare ourselves for this. It will be hot over there (Colombia) but coming from Jamaica we will be able to weather that storm,” Morrison believes.

Another member of the team, Bruce Burrowes, said that despite clashing with other big squash-playing countries, team Jamaica isn’t fazed by what might appear to be a daunting task.

“Although squash is an individual sport there’s a team aspect to it, we are going up against big countries like United States and Peru who are juggernauts of the Western Hemisphere, but we really think we can take them on, wi likkle but wi tallawah,” Burrowes stated.