Kia Ora Canterbury Squashies!
Last year in November I was fortunate enough to be selected as an Assistant Coach for two National Development Squads: The Boys Junior Development Squad, and the Emerging Boys Squad. Since then I have attended 6 camps including running one of them here in Christchurch. It has been an amazing development opportunity for me to coach alongside renowned New Zealand Team Coaches Nick Mita and Robbie Wyatt, both of whom have a wealth of experience and knowledge that far exceeds my own. It's been great forming friendships with these guys and I appreciate the knowledge and tools they have passed onto me that I can now utilise in my local coaching and development roles.
The National Squads provide an excellent opportunity for young aspiring juniors from all over the country to train alongside others like themselves for a whole weekend! As coaches we work hard to provide a fun and positive learning environment to not only develop their skills, but help form lasting connections, friendships and support networks. From my perspective this is the standout outcome of these training camps. When the first camp started many of the kids didn't know each other and some were even a little anxious. but by the end of the weekend you could see everyone opening up with one another and having a good time. Moving onto the second and third camps everyone had gotten to know each other really well which helps make training and learning more fun and effective.
Another great aspect of these camps was the amount of parents that came along to watch. Some camps we had over a dozen parents attend! Our role as squad coaches is not just to help the kids involved, but the support teams around them, including parents, personal coaches and other helpers. It was really nice to get to know many of the parents and provide support to them as well.
It was really cool to see these connections flow on outside of the camps. Recently I attended the NZ Junior Open and the Auckland Junior Open. It was awesome to see kids (and adults!) from all across the country getting along, talking and having a good time with one another. With the kids in particular I could see local and regional friendships combined with those accommodated through the camps had help create a web of connections. This formed an incredibly positive vibe and atmosphere at these big tournaments making the whole experience highly enjoyable.
So far it has been an absolute pleasure being a part of these national junior development roles and I see a bright future for squash In Canterbury and New Zealand! I would like to congratulate all our juniors, parents and coaches here in Canterbury for their hard work, effort and support for one another. We currently already have many juniors involved in the National Squads and I know we will have many more in coming years.
Keep working hard and enjoying your squash, I look forward to seeing everybody at upcoming local tournaments and events :)
Canterbury Juniors in the National 2018 Development Squads
Elite Squad – Ruby Turnbull
Emerging Squads – Leonie Marshall, Ella Knutson, Caelum Betteridge, Henry Aiken & Henry Moran
Junior Development Squad – Petra-Curd McCullough, Caitlin Millard, Jack Lamb, Charlie Prince, Tom Marshall, Paul Moran & Liam Gale
For further information on Squash NZ’s performance squads click here