Franklin excited about Bermuda's prospects at CASA Junior Champs and beyond

By July 14, 2023
Bermuda's Head coach Micah Franklin (right) share a photo opportunity with his team to the CASA Junior Squash Championships. Bermuda's Head coach Micah Franklin (right) share a photo opportunity with his team to the CASA Junior Squash Championships. contributed

Having harboured ambitions to expand squash in Bermuda, Head coach Micah Franklin, believes fielding their largest team to the Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Junior Championships is the first step to achieving that objective.

Franklin and his 17-member team, comprising nine boys and eight girls, are currently in the St Vincent and the Grenadines for the one-week tournament which gets under way on Saturday.

While his team will have defending champions Guyana and last year’s runners-up Barbados among others to contend with, Franklin, a former player, who was Bermuda’s flagbearer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, is excited about the prospects, particularly where the players’ development and progress is concerned.

“This is indeed the largest team we’ve ever been able to send to this year’s tournament and all our players are between the ages 9-18. Historically, Bermuda has always been able to send a team to the competition, however, very seldom do we have the luxury of sending enough to bring reserves,” Franklin told Sportsmax.tv.

“The team event portion of the competition requires five boys and five girls, so we are thrilled with the options this gives us. The biggest driver for this larger team is the fact that we gave our juniors goals and achievements to reach, which gives them a reason to train at squash on a regular basis and the Junior Casa this year was their motivation,” he added.

What lies ahead where medal-contention is concerned for Bermuda’s team, is left to be seen, but the Franklin is cautiously optimistic.

“Like everything, it is up in the air, but the team is incredibly excited for CASA this year. Every player has separate aspirations, but for me as the coach, I would love to see us leave with some medals. Anything on the podium will be a fabulous achievement,” he noted.

According to Franklin, there have been some improvements where corporate and government support of squash stands, but he would like to see much more done to continue their sport’s growth in the British Overseas Territory.

“Recently we have been incredibly fortunate to have received support from our government and corporate sponsors and Bermuda Squash is really grateful to Hiscox Re. ILS and the Bermuda Department of Youth Sport & Recreation for their support in Junior Squash development,” he said.

“The growth of squash in Bermuda is most likely similar to the growth of the world of squash. The sport does still suffer from not being an Olympic sport, and also inclusion. So, we are working on inclusion regularly to ensure every player gets a chance to play no matter the background,” Franklin shared.

On that note, he declared an unwavering desire to steer Bermuda Squash onto a new path, starting with this historic achievement at CASA which he believes serves as a springboard for their charge going forward.

“The overall goal and ambition for Bermuda Squash is to achieve full inclusion from all ages, races and genders. We want to prioritize squash first and let everything else fall into place,” Franklin ended.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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