News bites

Posted 3rd June 2018

A large contingent of NewZealand’s rising squash players have been confirmed for the men’s and women’s world junior individual champs followed by the biennial men’s world junior team championships next month in Chennai, India.

Players coming from a wide range of experience and with an eye on the future have been selected.

Top female junior, Kaitlyn Watts (Palmerston North) recently reaching the final of the women’s PSA Classic in Auckland and has being named in to represent her country, along with top male Matthew Lucentre at the world youth Olympics in Argentina later this year in addition to the world juniors next month.

Waikato’s Anika Jackson has also been selected for India along with Courtney Trail (Palmerston North) while Winnona-Jo Joyce, 17 from Hastings has been named in a development spot along with Annaliese Faint (Central Districts) and Georgia Robcke (Waikato).

The boys selections include the Belmont Park duo from Auckland’s, North Shore, Lucente and Gabe Yam who were part of the Westlake Boys national secondary schools winning team. Also confirmed are Temwa Chileshe (Hamilton) and Anthony Lepper from Auckland with development players Elijah Thomas (also the reserve for the boys team) and Leo Fatiaofa (both Auckland) and Glenn Templeton the non-travelling reserve from Bay of Plenty.

There is strong coaching depth with the boys being led by Commonwealth Games head coach Glen Wilson along with Manu Yam from Auckland. The experienced duo of Robbie Wyatt (Bay of Plenty) and Phil Buscke (Waikato) are the girls coaches.

“The players have been through a particularly rigorous selection process this year. The broadening of the team to include development players gives some the opportunity to prepare for future events that was not previously available. Following the inspirational Commonwealth Games results the players selected will be wanting to replicate this success,” said Shelley Kitchen, high performance manager Squash NZ.

The men’s and women’s world junior individual championships take place at the Indian Academy, Chennai from 18-23 July followed by the biennial men’s world junior team championships. All players named to representNew Zealand will be taking part in this month’s national senior championships in Henderson.

Boys team:
1. Matthew Lucente – Auckland
2. Gabe Yam – Auckland
3. Temwa Chileshe – Waikato
4. Anthony Lepper – Auckland
5. Elijah Thomas (Development and Reserve Boys Team) – Auckland
6. Leo Fatialofa (Development) – Auckland
7. Glenn Templeton (Development Non-Travelling Reserve) – Bay of Plenty
Coaches Glen Wilson Auckland and Manu Yam Auckland

Girls team: 
1. Kaitlyn Watts – Central District
2. Anika Jackson – Waikato
3. Courtney Trail – Central District
4. Winona-Jo Joyce (Development) – Eastern
5. Annaliese Faint (Development) – Central District
6. Georgia Robcke (Development) – Waikato
7. Diya Joukani (Development Non-travelling reserve) – Auckland 
Coaches Robbie Wyatt BOP and Phil Buscke Waikato

Winona-Jo comments:

After years of hard work it is finally here. I’m super excited to announce that I have made the NZ Squad heading over to Chennai, India in this coming July to compete in the 2018 wsf world juniors squash championships 🎉I’m so pumped to be able to go out there and represent my country 🇳🇿🙌🏽 I’m so grateful for all the help I’ve received over the years. I have to say thank you to my club Havelock North Squash Club and Squash Eastern for always having my back. My sponsor Havelock North Focus Health Physiotherapy for always keeping me in tip top shape. My main sponsor Tecnifibre for all my awesome gear and their continuous support throughout the past few years. I am forever grateful for my exceptional parents and family. Through the ups and the downs they have supported me, encouraged me and helped sculpt the person I am today 💞 Without them I would have never accomplished what I have been able to to this day. I’d just like to Congratulate everyone else that has made the NZ team and thank everyone for all their support #roadtochennai #worldjuniors #FightSmart 🇳🇿🔜🇮🇳

Check out this great article in Hawke’s Bay Today on 6th June www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=12065057

2018 Junior National Age Groups and Inter District Teams

A massive congratulations to our Girls’ team of Winona-Jo Joyce, Rhiarne Taiapa, Jena Gregory, Jess Dean & Rakairoa Joyce who have finished 2nd in the Junior Inter District Teams event.  Coached and managed by Andrea Hewitt, the girls have been a credit to Squash Eastern.

Our boys, coached and managed by Joel Le Comte – Willz Donnelly, Kahn Grayson, Quade Hyde, Blake Knox & Isaac Pilcher – finished in their seeded position of 7th which put Eastern 5th in the Gifford Cup, which decides the overall winning District.

The Individuals also saw some fantastic results:

Under 19 Boys
Willz Donnelly – 3rd 
Kahn Grayson – 9th (seeded 20th)
U15 Boys
Ryan Miller – Extra Plate Winner
Under 19 Girls
Winona-Jo Joyce – Special Plate Winner 
Rhiarne Taiapa – 4th 
Jess Dean – Consolation Plate Winner
U15 Girls
Jena Gregory – 3rd 

Our thanks to Pub Charity who, with their funding, have helped bring these amazing juniors on to such high levels.

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 May 2018 grading list:


Under 11 Girls
No 10 Belle Kinnear
No 12 Lucy Kinnear

Under 13 Girls
No 15 Ruby Hinton

Under 13 boys
No 9 Mikarore Joyce 

Under 15 Girls
No 3  Jena Gregory
No 13 Rakairoa Joyce 

Under 17 Girls
No 16 Ally Harding

Under 19 Girls
No 3 Winona-Jo Joyce
No 6  Rhiarne Taiapa
No 16 Jess Dean

Under 19 Boys
No 6 Willz Donnelly
No 11 Robert Fridd


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.