AIM Outreach Championship Season Report

The dust settled on this year’s Outreach Championship and it can all be summed up in one word – success. This years competition was better than we had hoped. More participants, a massive improvement in playing standards, a longer season, and more individual success stories than we could have hoped for.

The season came to end on a high note with our 10th and final tournament on Sunday 25th of June.

We had a full complement of 12 divisions with nearly 60 players fighting for medals in every division.

As our regulars know the tournament is divided into two tiers. Tier A and Tier S. Tier A is for beginners and improving players. Tier S is for intermediate and advanced players. There is no barrier between the Tiers though. Players can and have moved from the lower tier to end up competing in the higher divisions.

Our final day saw our 2023 Tier A and Tier S champions crowned. taking these title was no easy feat. Both of these players had serious competition for their trophies, and if they had not been so consistently good across the season, the titles could have easily slipped through their fingers.

Our Tier A champion was Rafael Hanzel-Wacker. He beat away serious competition from Mohammed Shehu and Alina Zasella who took second and third. Rafi won because of all the players who spent most of the season in Tier A, he had the most success at the highest levels throughout the season.

In Tier S it was a more straightforward decision. The player with the most points won the overall title. Yacoub Rhamani-Walentynske beat his sister Soraya to the title by 565 points to 540. In third place was Inayah Zasella with 524 points.

On the final day however, none of the front runners had it easy. Three new arrivals, sisters Victoria and Giana Pang, alongside Harvey Cheung, won their morning groups which meant that the three championship front runners were all relegated to division 2 for the first time this season.

In the afternoon, the Division 1 title came down to the very last match between Harvey and Victoria. But Victoria proved too strong for Harvey, as she had for every one else on the day, winning in straight sets to take the Div 1 gold medal. Harvey took second with Adam Riadi being the best of our regulars on the day with third place overall.

But possibly the biggest story of Division 1 was the presence of Connor Godley in the afternoon session. At the beginning of the year Connor was not in the top 20 or even close to it. His improvement over the year has been extraordinary and in the morning he earned his place in the top division coming first in a very tough group.

Division 2 went to Yacoub with his win over Lewis Macsween ensuring that he took gold and Lewis the silver. The bronze went to Inayah with her head-to-head win over Soraya, pushing this year’s Championship runner-up into fourth place on the day.

Division 3 saw a long overdue win for Korey Samuda, while Assil Sarri beat her brother Zack to take silver with Zack coming away with the Bronze.

Div 4 went to Daniel Alupoaie, with Ruby Gandi Bamidele taking the silver. Bronze Went to Rigel Mustafa who impressively beat two higher ranked players for the final medal slot.

Div 5 was very tight with three players on the same amount of wins at the end. After a count- back the gold was take by Mohammed Shehu, with Alexia-Bianca Ciobanica and George Gaynor taking silver and bronze.

The day’s Tier A champion was always likely to be Alina Zasella, and with her two main rivals both playing in the S Tier, Alina was not letting the title go to anyone else. Winning all of her matches on the day she took the gold in Division 6, the highest of the A Tier bands. Congratulations also go to Naylen Limani and Shane Winter-Kokoli, who took silver and bronze.

However, the biggest story of the Tier A was the presence in the championship group of Rea Kola, who has not been playing for very long. Getting into the top group was an extraordinary achievement in itself. Rea also won the player of the day medal because of her success and also her wonderful sportsmanship.

Division 7 went to Sufyan Murudkar, with Youssef Moustaquime beating his sister Aicha for the silver.

Division 8 was won by Dominic Rimmy, who beat a strong challenge from Emily Cooper, with Nami Rouhani taking third place.

Rea’s sister Iliona Kola made up for a tough morning session by winning Division 9, beating Darius Gholizade and Amir Zasella into second and third.

Div 10 was won by Arisha Hussain. Second place came down to a head to head between Aiden Rawoo and Aaliyah Gadatara, with Aliyah taking the win in three sets to grab a silver medal.

Newcomer Edward Ariton took gold in a competitive Division 11, seeing off challenges from Daniel Moore and Ramin Alinejad, who took the second and third spots.

Our final division of the day saw Roman Lawrence come out on top, beating Bogdan Calaniuc and David Luca Dobrita to the gold.

All in all it has been a great year, with our revised format proving much more popular than last years system. We are now looking foward to a well earned break and then starting a new season in September.