News bites

Congratulations to our Juniors who acquitted themselves so well at last weekend’s Junior Nationals in Invercargill:

Willz Donnelly – 4th in the Boys Open, beating the 4th seed along the way, a victory which elevated him to A grade.

Winona-Jo Joyce – 4th in the Girls Open
Rakairoa Joyce – Consolation Plate winner in the Girls Open
Jena Gregory – 2 victories, losing in the 2nd round of the Special Plate

Mikarore Joyce – Special Plate winner in the Boys Division One.  Mika entered the event as an E1 and came home a D2 having beaten two C2 players over the weekend.

Congratulations to Rhiarne Taiapa, the 2017 SBS Bank Hawke’s Bay Secondary School Sports Awards squash player of the year.  She also won the coveted Jarrod Cunningham Youth Sports Trust Scholarship. Crutches wouldn’t keep Rhiarne away from the ceremony.


Junior New Zealand Squads

Congratulations to the following who have been named in the Squash New Zealand Junior Squads:

Elite Squads
Rhiarne Taiapa
Winona-Jo Joyce
Jena Gregory

Emerging Squads
Willz Donnelly
Ally Harding
Sam Harding
Ariata Kutia

Development Squads
Rakairoa Joyce


A note from Winona-Jo Joyce

A lovely note from Winona-Jo Joyce.  She is a true credit to Squash Eastern, to her family and her peers.  Thank you for just being you!

My first time being the club champ, defending my New Zealand B grade champion of champions title, and making A grade all within the last week of my season!!

I’d like to thank both the Havelock North Squash Club and Hastings Tennis and Squash Club for always supporting me with my squash in anyway possible. My sponsor Technifibre for all the awesome gear they provide for me and their support through my squash journey, without them I wouldn’t have my winning racket 😎😜.

A big thanks to my coach, Chook for always being their, teaching me and helping me improve into the player I am today!! I have learnt so much and am grateful for the time and effort you have put in to coaching me!!

A special thanks to my amazing and beautiful shoe sponsor, my nan, Jo Ihimaera on being the best number 1 supporter I could ever have! (Just remember don’t argue with the ref😉) But I love you so much and am super happy and grateful to have you there with me 💙

Thanks sooooo so much to my family…they are so amazing supporting me and encouraging me, pushing me and loving me 😋😂(I hope) I know as long as you guys are there I can make it 🏆💫. A humongous thank you to my parents, Rewi Joyce and Megan Joyce, there is no way, ever that I could have gotten where I am today without your help. You coach me, growl me, encourage me, laugh at me, and obviously love me 💁🏻😂 I love you so much and there is no one in all of existence who has better parents than me!! ❤️

This accomplishment is not just mine but all of ours and I’m very thankful for all the great people I have met and will meet on my journey! ☺️

Bring on 2017!!😜👊🏽

She forgot to mention that she was also:

  • U19 and U17 South Island Junior Champion
  • A member of the Hastings B Grade Women’s team who won Superchamps Nationals
  • A member of the Eastern Junior team who finished 3rd in the recent Junior Nationals

Age Group Rankings

Congratulations to the following juniors who were ranked in the top 16 as of the October 2017 grading list:

Under 13 boys
No 15 Mikarore Joyce

Under 15 Girls
No 2 Jena Gregory
No 11 Ariata Kutia
No 15 Rakairoa Joyce

Under 17 Boys
No 2 Willz Donnelly

Under 17 Girls
No 3 Winona-Jo Joyce
No 13 Ally Harding

Under 19 Girls
No 4 Rhiarne Taiapa
No 9 Rosemary Mair
No 16 Jess Dean


Eastern v Central Junior Challenge

Eastern Juniors make it 4 in a row

When it comes to Squash, our talented Eastern Juniors are leading the way, and have now made it four in a row against their Central neighbours.  Again, it was an extremely close battle with Eastern sneaking home 20-18.  

Willz Donnelly, Eastern’s top Junior Boy, ensured that the overall victory was clear-cut rather than requiring a countback, by winning 3-2 in the final match on court.

In summing up the day, Eastern Team Manager, Murray Sutherland, stressed how impressed he was with the skill and determination shown by our ever-developing squad. Pub Charity’s support of our Junior Academy continues to reap impressive benefits and it was particularly pleasing to see a new B grader following her two victories – well done, Rakairoa Joyce.

The other team members who came away from the day with a 100% record were Willz Donnelly, Kahn Grayson, Jena Gregory and our 2 U11 girls, Belle & Lucy Kinnear.

So, the day ended with smiles galore and the kids returning home with dreams of a big future.