Club backs up its young play­ers

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KARO­LINE TUCKEY

There must be some­thing spe­cial in the wa­ter at Tawa Squash Club – four of the club’s play­ers have just been se­lected for Welling­ton ju­nior rep­re­sen­ta­tive teams.

The se­lec­tion gives them the op­por­tu­nity to play at the na­tional teams event in Auck­land in midOc­to­ber.

Paris Dal­rym­ple-Mortle­man, 15, Ellen Verry, 14, and JessieRose Ward-Thomas, 14, make up half of the six-strong Welling­ton girls’ ju­nior team; Jason van der Walt, 16, will play for the boys’ team. The club is ex­cep­tional for fos­ter­ing young tal­ent, the four agree.

‘‘It’s a re­ally friendly club, and the par­ents are get­ting the kids in­volved,’’ Ward-Thomas says.

The club’s family-in­clu­sive en­vi­ron­ment, en­cour­age­ment to com­pete, prac­ti­cal as­sis­tance, and large pool of tal­ent have had a strong in­flu­ence, says Dal­rym­pleMortle­man.

This is the sec­ond year in the Welling­ton rep­re­sen­ta­tive squad for her, and the first for the oth­ers. Be­ing part of the team is an important chance for de­vel­op­ment, says van der Walt.

‘‘It’s def­i­nitely needed, be­cause you get to play peo­ple you wouldn’t nor­mally get to play in the re­gional group.’’

Se­lec­tion means an ex­tra three days of com­pe­ti­tion against some of the best play­ers from around the coun­try at the na­tional teams event. How­ever, Dal­rym­pleMortle­man says there will be no change to their train­ing rou­tine or coach­ing. The four are al­ready fully de­voted to squash, spend­ing al­most all their spare time on the courts, and are keen to take the sport as far as they can.

They en­thuse about rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand, play­ing at the Com­mon­wealth Games, or plac­ing well in the Bri­tish Open one day.

‘‘It’s pretty much get up, school, and then to the courts or the gym and then home, and that’s ev­ery day – and then week­ends it’ll be twice a day,’’ van der Walt says.

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