Schools getting taste of squash
For the third year running, Te Awamutu Squash Club, Cambridge Racquets Club and Leamington Squash Club hosted the annual Waipa¯ Interschools Big Nix Tournament for Primary and Intermediate students.
This Squash Waikato initiative to increase awareness and participation of squash in the Waipa¯ District has local schools that have completed the introduction to the Big Nix programme compete against one another in an end of year tournament.
After initially starting in 2014 as a collaboration between two schools and two clubs, there are now 12 schools and three clubs that have the capability and equipment to offer both the Small Nix (world class fundamental skills programme) and Big Nix squash programmes.
More than 2000 Waipa¯ students have experienced the eight-week programme over the last three years, with 83 teachers and parents also being trained to help deliver and teach squash in their local communities.
The success of this project has led more teachers and families to become involved in the sport independently, with some now helping to support local clubs and their programmes. As a result of this growth in popularity, the 2018 Waipa¯ Interschools Big Nix Tournaments were hosted over two days at two venues to ensure that as many students as possible were able to experience what competitive squash is all about.
The Primary division competition had 29 players from Cambridge East School, Leamington Primary School and Pekerau Primary School battling it out for the Year 5 and 6 Waipa¯ Interschools Trophy.
Pekerau Primary School reigned supreme based on the overall average performance of all participants from the school. Coming a close second was Leamington Primary School, with Cambridge East School finishing in third place.
Division 1 winners and runners-up were Fergus Hill (Pekerau) and Kawepo Mullins (Pekerau). Division 2 — Lukas Murray (Leamington), Oliver Tane-Knowles (Cambridge East); Division 3 — Caleb Seebeck (Leamington), Logan Douglas (Pekerau); Division 4 — Nevaeh Wallace (Pekerau), Dilan Neho (Pekerau).
The intermediate division attracted 52 entries from Cambridge Middle School, Te Awamutu Intermediate, St Patrick’s Catholic School Te Awamutu and first-time competitors Pirongia School battling it out for the Year 7 and 8 Waipa¯ Interschools Trophy.
Cambridge Middle School (CMS) took out the top spot for the second year running, with Te Awamutu Intermediate (TAI) the runners-up and St Patrick’s Catholic School and Pirongia School finishing third and fourth respectively.
Intermediate division winners and runners-ups were, Division 1 — Tyler Lee (CMS), Teegan Wright (CMS); Division 2 — Jorja Wright (CMS), Quinn Wilson (St Pat’s); Division 3 — Ayrin Dally (TAI), Alex Dixon (CMS); Division 4 — Blake Allison (CMS), Tom Brown (CMS); Division 5 — Cameron Butler (CMS), William Lord (TAI); Division 6 — Nicole Hollands (CMS), Lincon Reeve (TAI); Division 7 — Zara Barnard (CMS), George Dobson (CMS).
The organising committee thanked the tournament sponsors, including Werder Rackets who sponsored some gear to help start squash futures.
■ For those interested in taking up this sport, contact your local club for more information on how to get involved with squash. Te Awamutu Squash, [email protected]mutu.co.nz; Cambridge Racquets Club, man[email protected]; Leamington Squash Club, leamingtonsquash @outlook.com
Year five and six participants from Cambridge East School, Leamington Primary School and Pekerau Primary School pose for a photo shoot during the Waipa¯ Interschools Big Nix Squash Tournament.