By Alfred Koroma
NP-SL, the leading petroleum company in Sierra Leone is investing in squash sport as part of an effort to keep young people active and busy.
On Independent Day, the petroleum company, in collaboration with Sierra Fishing Company organized squash competition for under 14-16 boys and under 14-16 girls from various schools within Freetown. Students from Services Junior Secondary School and Methodist Girls High School won the competition which was hosted at the Sierra Leone Grammar School.
NP organized the competition after building Squash Courts in various educational institutions, including Grammar school, Fourah Bay College, St Edwards School and the Bo School.
Making a statement at the awarding of trophies and medals to the players, NP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kobi Walker expressed gratification over the skills the young players displayed while playing the competition on Thursday.
“I am gratified that you are playing Squash at such a young age. I am gratified that we are going to catch them early. I’m equally gratified that the investment made in building those squash courts,” NP’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Kobi Walker said. “It gives us confidence that we must continue. And if we do continue, we will bring laurels in Sierra Leone. We will continue to build more squash courts.”
Squash is a fast-developing sport that began in the 19th century. The game is played by two players in doubles in a four-walled Court with a small, hallow rubber ball. Playing the game requires skill, speed and fitness.
To score a point, a player need to keep hitting the ball against the front wall until his or her opponent cannot get the ball again. The ball should only hit the floor once before each shot, but it can hit the wall as many as the player wants.
When serving the ball, a player must keep one foot in the service box, and the ball served must hit the front wall between the service line and the out-line and land in the area behind the short line on the opposite side of the court.
But the rule is that players must not allow the ball to bounce twice before hitting it, and they must not hit the ball into the floor before it hits the front wall, or hits it outside the outline. Doing so would lead to a loss of the rally. A player can also lose a rally if the ball hits them or their clothing before they strike the ball.