The Akpans: Nigeria’s squash brothers

You may have heard of sisters Serena and Venus Williams, who dominated tennis at their peak. In Nigeria, precisely in Alaka Estate, Surulere, Lagos, Elisha and Joshua Akpan are brothers who are writing their own story at another racquet sports, squash.

Elisha (14) and Joshua (13) started playing squash in 2018 and have never looked back; they simply want to play for fun and be the best they can.

The two boys spoke with PUNCH Sports Extra about their love for the sport, highs, lows and their goals.

When asked why they got into the sport, the boys gave simple answers as one would expect from boys so young.

“I just like the game because it’s very interesting,” Elisha said, while Joshua added, “The game is fun.”

Elisha most recently claimed gold at the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo tournament, which took place in Abeokuta from August 9 to 13.

Joshua was champion at the Sports Expo in Kwara State in March and was handed his trophy by the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

Elisha says his happiest moments are when he makes a ‘winner shot’ – a term for shots that athletes hit and don’t come back and is not touched by the opponent.

“When I play the ball back to my opponent and they cannot pick it and I get my winner shot; that’s what makes the game interesting and it always makes me happy.”

Although Elisha started training two days before his younger brother, Joshua, he found it more difficult than Joshua did.

“It was not easy….

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