This past Friday we held the First Annual Peer Mentoring Squash Tournament! Never having organized a squash tournament before, Nnemoma and I didn’t quite know what to expect–however, the event turned out to be a great success.
After checking in and having some snacks, pairs headed down to the courts to warm up. Mentors and mentees mingled as they practiced on court together and hyped each other up, and then the matches began. The first round was mentees versus mentees, with mentors cheering, coaching, and reffing. Mentees played two games, each to 15 points. Then mentors played (to 21 points this time), with mentees taking their turn to support. After the matches, we gathered in the gray space to tally the points and announce the winners.
Two prizes were given: to the pair that scored the highest number of points against their opponents (Go Tindakay and Roche!) and the pair that exhibited the best sportsmanship (Go Trina and Jackie!).
Highlights included a really upbeat/energetic atmosphere with non-stop cheering, caregivers coming to watch their kids play (including both Hartwell parents!), a number of upsets in what were thought to be predictable matches, great sportsmanship and attitudes by mentors and mentees alike, and a big crowd gathering to watch a heated final match between Nasir and Kyrell.
This event would never have been possible without Gabby, Katie, and Caleb–thank you so much for all of your help, from teaching us how to structure a tournament to cheering for students to helping clean up afterward. I know it meant a lot to the kids to see you guys there and we are so grateful!