Squashing records with a national win
For first time in 30 years, and second time in history, a Ha¯wera squash team has brought home a national title.
The Ha¯wera D-grade women were crowned the New Zealand Super Champ Team in their grade for 2017.
Players Jaime-Lee Careswell, Megan Meerkerk, Brooke Reid, Alana Ryan, Abbies Holmes, Philippa Duffy and Denise Holmes were managed by Lynda Ryan and coached by Mike Careswell.
Holmes said she knew it was a big deal to win a national title, but said it hit home when she realised the last time Ha¯ wera Squash Club had a national winning team.
‘‘It’s been 30 years,’’ she said. ’’Probably once I heard that it was even more exciting.’’
Denise said the team had received many encouraging messages.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of congratulatory txts and phone calls and Facebook has gone a bit crazy.’’
The Ha¯wera Ladies F grade won a national title in 1987 and Jan Canty, a member of that team, contacted Denise to congratulate her.
‘‘She can still remember the win back in the day, which was pretty cool,’’ Denise said.
The new champion team won the Central Districts Regionals in Palmerston North in August and qualified for nationals.
These were held in Tau¯ po and the team played against five other teams from all over the country.
They played 25 matches all up and only lost three of those.
Three of the women - Alana Ryan, Abbie Holmes and Megan Meerkerk - went undefeated throughout the entire tournament.
These three women, as well as Brooke Reid and Denise, were the main players during the competition.
Denise said for a lot of the team members this was their first national competition, especially as a team.
‘‘It was quite nerve-wracking playing as part of a team,’’ she said.
‘‘When you play by yourself as an individual it’s okay, but when you’re playing as part of a team your loss might let the team down.
‘‘I felt a bit more pressure.’’ Two other Taranaki teams did well at national competitions too.
Kawaroa Park E-Grade Ladies came third in Hamilton, and Kawaroa Park B-Grade Men came seventh in Cromwell.
The winning team: Coach Mike Careswell, Jaime-Lee Careswell, Megan Meerkerk, Brooke Reid, Alana Ryan, Abbies Holmes, Philippa Duffy, Denise Holmes, and Manager Lynda Ryan.