No fewer than 75 male and female players from across the country are competing for honours in the ongoing maiden edition of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Open Squash Challenge in Abuja.
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) sanction event which served off on Tuesday at the Package B of Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, will see the winners both in the male and female categories smiling to bank with N200, 000 and N150, 000 respectively.
The chairman of the Nigeria Police Squash Association, Yakubu Mailafiya, said at the opening that aside from the winners, out of the 75 participating players, 32 will be going home with prizes depending on the level they got to.
The chairman, Nigeria Police Squash Association, Yakubu Mailafiya CSP, who made the disclosure during the opening ceremony of the event in Abuja, said that the biggest prize money is N200,000 earmarked for male gold winner.
According to him, 10 states including Lagos, Plateau, Delta, FCT, Edo, Niger, Kaduna, Rivers, Kwara and Oyo states are participating in the inaugural edition of the championship.
“The prize money for this tournament is N200,000 for gold in the male category, N120,000 for the silver while the joint third position winners will get N70,000 each.
“Besides, 32 of them will be going home with prices depending on the level they got to. The last eight will go home with N30,000 each, round of 16 finishers will get N15,000 each just as round of 32 finishers will smile home with N10,000.”
“For the female category, the gold winner will get N150,000, silver winner N80,000, joint third is N40,000 each while the top eight financial N20,000, 16 toppers will get N10,000 and the last 32 will get N5000 each besides the medals and trophy. In the male category, 50 participants registered online while we have over 25 females,” Mailafiya said.
While disclosing that the purpose of the week-long event is to hunt for talents, the IGP promised to make it an annual event.
The IGP who was represented by the Force Director of Sports, DSP P. A, Atayero, said: “Yes, we encountered some challenges but the most pressing of them is not financial one. We are very happy that the inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Force Sports Officer assisted us with the budget for the organisation of this.
“The worst challenge we encounter has to do with the difficulty in the online registration by the participants.
However, some of them have to come here to do physical registration. The essence essentially is to promote the game of squash. We want to also use it to take the youths off the streets.”
We want to bring out the potential in the young ones. As for the sustenance of the game, I can assure you that the IGP has endorsed it to be an annual event with the corporation of the federation,” he stated.