Court focus results in high ranking
Kobe Fleming is an all- round athlete but this year his focus has been firmly between the four walls of a squash court.
The Whitby 10- year- old, in just his third year of playing the game, is likely to be ranked inside the top three in the country for his age when updated rankings come out next month, after winning the North Island Championships and finishing runner-up at the South Island equivalent.
In both events he came up against rival Glenn Templeton, from Katikati.
‘‘I lost 3-0 down there [in Timaru] but the games were all really close,’’ Fleming says. ‘‘In Hamilton I think I warmed up better and I had a new game plan and it worked. I was really happy.’’
Part of his successful run is due to coach Nick Mita, who is working with a number of juniors at the Tawa and Mana squash clubs, with Fleming a member of the latter.
While he enjoys rugby and football, all other sports have been set aside.
‘‘Squash is my focus. You get really fit, make lots of new friends and I have lots of fun.’’
A member of the Wellington development squad, Mana’s junior academy and the national under-13 development squad, Fleming is training towards the nationals in Palmerston North in October.
Making a racket: Kobe Fleming’s recent results show why he is one of the best junior players in New Zealand.