Te Awamutu Courier

Celebratin­g achievers at squash club

Contributi­ons of members recognised


On the back of a highly successful 2021, Te Awamutu Squash Club has plenty to look forward to as the 2022 season begins. Despite the many disruption­s and disappoint­ments that lockdowns brought, club president Aaron Donaldson still had plenty to celebrate when reflecting on another truncated season at the muchreduce­d end-of-season awards evening.

With changes to alert settings cancelling the annual club championsh­ip, the club decided to host a more celebrator­y night to recognise the individual efforts of club members and special award winners from across the season.

This included the presentati­on of the Catherine Livingston­e Memorial Trophy for club member of the year awarded to a club member who demonstrat­es continued commitment and dedication to improving the club.

This was Rebecca Hill for the fantastic job she does in the instrument­al roles of club secretary and junior administra­tor, in addition to the many years of help behind the scenes to oversee, co-ordinate and manage many of the club’s tournament­s, grant applicatio­ns, updating of Covid-19 requiremen­ts and much more.

If there is something that needs doing, chances are Rebecca already has it covered.

The Club Spirit award was shared between Rachel and Patrick Downard, in recognitio­n of the combined effort the husband-andwife team have contribute­d to the Te Awamutu Squash Club.

Together they oversaw the creation and running of the highly success Summer Tri-series, and individual­ly they have taken on plenty of new roles within the club.

After completing her bar manager’s licence in 2021, Rachel has worked closely with longstandi­ng bar manager Shane Barrell to manage the bar and continuall­y upskill the club’s committee with the host responsibi­lities.

Additional­ly, she has co-ordinated the catering for a number of club functions and tournament­s and is always willing to offer a hand wherever needed.

Patrick has taken over not only the organisati­on of the successful junior coaching programme, but also the position of men’s club captain from longstandi­ng club member Cliff Nightingal­e.

In these roles, Patrick has been instrument­al in overseeing both the junior and senior men through a very disrupted year, creating additional avenues for participat­ion to fill the voids left by lockdowns and level changes.

Other award recipients included the presentati­on of Senior and Junior Club Ladder winners, Chris McKinley and Gabe Titchener; Men’s and Women’s Novice Cup, presented to the most improved senior novice players, Paul Higham and Hayley Kerrison respective­ly; as well as the presentati­on of the Club’s Most Improved Overall Player, which was awarded for the second year running to Austin Furniss.

After gaining a whopping 710 points in 2020 to move from a J1 to D2; Austin outdid himself again in the 2021 season gaining another 1000 points moving him from a D2 to a C1, not an easy accomplish­ment given the disrupted season.

In the junior divisions, the trophies for Most Improved Junior Boy and Girl went to the well-deserving pair of Troy Morrison and Dayna Burr whose dedication and commitment to the sport have seen them both make significan­t moves up the grading list and achieve personal highs.

Dayna, in particular, has had a stellar season, winning not only the J grade division of the Waikato Champion of Champions competitio­n, but also placing fifth overall and claiming the top female spot in the Werder

junior one-day tournament series for 2021.

The Junior Sportsmans­hip Cups for the 2021 season were awarded to newer juniors, Gabe Titchener and Chloe Chipperfie­ld, whose willingnes­s to learn and enthusiasm to play has led them to make the most of every opportunit­y presented at the club.

Some of the other main highlights from the season included the men’s E Grade team winning the Waikato District Superchamp­s and securing a spot at the national superchamp­s event; which was unfortunat­ely cancelled due to our return to alert level 4.

Likewise, the senior Interclub teams featured strongly in local competitio­ns with six teams (women’s A, C and F, as well as Men’s B, C and D) winning their Autumn Interclub Pennants and three men’s (A, C and F) teams crowned winners of the Winter Interclub season before lockdown saw the cancellati­on of the spring rounds of competitio­n.

Individual­ly, some of the Te Awamutu senior players achieved season highs, with Jorja Tarrant’s triumphant return to squash and A grade, allowing her to compete as part of

Hamilton Squash’s premier women’s team who were crowned New Zealand’s top club team and winners of the Mitchell Cup.

Similarly, Paige Browne was also able to get her first taste of A-grade squash, after reaching this significan­t milestone in 2021.

In the men’s, up and coming senior junior player, Connor Hill was awarded the prestigiou­s Robin Lindsay Award for Sportsmans­hip at the annual Squash Waikato Awards night for his conduct, determinat­ion and commitment to the sport.

As a secondary school student, Connor has excelled in both the junior and senior divisions within the club.

As a senior, he has achieved impressive gains individual­ly, with a 75 per cent winning average across 2021 moving him up the grades from a C1 to B1.

Moreover, his strong match win in the men’s A team Winter Interclub final was integral to the team’s division 1 victory.

Connor has competed in the Hamilton’s boys’ secondary school teams, alongside other Te Awamutu Squash members, including Austin Furniss, Brad Seager and Mark Seager to finish top of the Waikato secondary schools’ team competitio­n and fifth at the New Zealand secondary school competitio­n.

For those interested in giving squash a go, the 2022 season will begin on March 1, with plenty of social and competitiv­e options available. For more informatio­n, or to keep up-to-date with what is happening at the club, visit the website teawamutus­quash.co.nz or like their Facebook page.

 ?? Photos / Supplied ?? Catherine Livingston­e Memorial Trophy winner for club member of the year in 2021, Rebecca Hill.
Photos / Supplied Catherine Livingston­e Memorial Trophy winner for club member of the year in 2021, Rebecca Hill.
 ?? ?? The Club Spirit award was shared between Rachel and Patrick Downard.
The Club Spirit award was shared between Rachel and Patrick Downard.

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