The Boast - June Edition

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5. Grant Smith - Life member

6. The Notice Board

8. Dame Susan Devoy inducted into PSA Hall of Fame

9. Paul Coll

10. Mitchell Cup & Cousins Shield

11. Graded Champs

12. Skillzea PSA Open

13. End to end pathway / Masters

14. Referee in the hot seat - Bryan Ford

15. Referee Glenn Carson reports from Cairo

16. Hey Ref!

17. Club Uplift - Wall renovations in Hastings

18. Coaching report

19. Trivia

20. Volunteer of the month

21. Blast from the past

24. SquashLevels

27. National Tournament Calendar

Stay updated with our other channels

Chief Executive Update

Last Sunday, I joined my squash club’s working bee, along with many others, to spruce up the courts. We scrubbed the side walls with magic sponges and soapy water to remove black ball marks, replaced the red tape on the courts, and filled the gaps between the floor and wall after recently installing our new floors. The difference is remarkable. We know the quality of our courts often falls short of our club member’s expectations, and a few hours of communal effort can make a massive improvement. I hope more clubs will take advantage of the cost-saving benefits and advice we’re offering through our Club Uplift Challenge. There’s a lot happening at the national office. While the High Performance team is supporting the NZ Junior team as they prepare for their Worlds next month in Houston, we are finalising the design and

Upcoming events


NZ Squash Championships

NZ Racketball Open

Northland Masters

BOP Junior Open

South Island Junior Age Groups

North Island Junior Age Groups

Southland Masters

Northland Juniors

Central Masters

development of the full version of MySquash, set to launch next February.

This week, I attended the Sport NZ conference, which featured a variety of speakers with diverse messages. The morning focused on the importance of technology, challenging sports organisations to evaluate their tech utilisation. This reinforced the significance of our efforts on MySquash to enhance member experiences and support clubs.

One of the standout messages came from an economist I often see on TV. He presented numerous facts and graphs illustrating the hardships New Zealanders, particularly in rural areas, are facing, particularly this year. However, he offered hope that things will improve significantly by early 2025. Let’s hope so!

Ngā mihi Martin Dowson


5th -7th July

6th -7th July

5th -7th July

12th - 13th July

12th - 14th July

19th - 21st July

19th - 20st July

26th - 28th July

26th - 27th July


Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre

Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre

Kamo Squash Club

Te Puke Squash Club

Otago Squash Club

Taupo Squash Club

Fiordland Squash Club

Whangarei Squash Club

Levin Squash Club

Don’t miss any upcoming events. Click HERE to access the full tournament calendar

Grant Smith Named Squash New Zealand Poipātū Aotearoa Life Member

Grant Smith’s life membership follows four decades of involvement in squash, first as a player, before becoming an admired administrator and event promoter.

Smith was a longtime A grade player, primarily playing for what is now the Palmerston North SquashGym club, and while still a leading player he became involved in the administration of squash. His aptitude for administration was immediately clear and he naturally grew into the role of President of Central Squash and Club President at SquashGym. While in the position Smith oversaw operations as Palmerston North played host to two prestigious World Championship events – the 2006 World Junior Men’s Championship and the 2010 World Women’s Team Championship. The events were extremely well run and elevated the profile of squash in New Zealand while also showcasing the country as a premier destination for international competition.

Smith’s leadership and organisational skills were key to the success of the events and were instrumental in World Squash holding its AGM in Christchurch in 2013. It was the first major event to be held in Christchurch post-

Squash Squads

earthquake and Smith Chaired the AGM and Conference Committee, doing so to great effect.

The Palmerston North Squash Club, with Grant at the helm, also won the New Zealand Club of the Year award in 2000, 2002 and 2005 and Smith’s ongoing efforts ensured that Central squash remained strong and that Palmerston North had a vibrant club capable of hosting international events.

Smith has also been involved with the New Zealand Squash Hall of Fame since its inception in 2009, including being on the selection panel, management committee and overseeing the Hall of Fame website. He was also the players representative for several years and edited the New Zealand and World Squash magazine with Barrie Matthews.

Smith’s vision alongside his organisational and interpersonal skills saw him elected Mayor of Palmerston North in 2015, a position which he holds to this day and one which he says keeps him even busier than his time in squash!

2024 National Promotion - Squash Squads has concluded for the year. We had over 250 beginner ladies across the country taking to the court to try Squash! With Remuera Rackets Club hosting 36 new players over their 2 sessions and the new Kerikeri Squash Club managing to attract a massive 25 participants.

Grant Smith

The notice board

What’s happening in our community


A big Happy Birthday to Sylvia Wesney who turned 90 on June 6th.

Sylvia started playing squash in 1964, joining the Nelson Club and became an honored life member in 1982. She was the first female president and her passion for organising women’s competitions and introducing school students to squash was instrumental to the success of the club.

Sylvia’s extensive work in squash has been recognised numerous times, in 1992 she was elected the Nelson Mail Administrator of the Year, 2004 she was awarded the Nelson Bays Club Volunteer of the Year and in 2016 she received a Lifetime Achievement in Squash Award at the Nelson Sports Awards in recognition for her commitment over the last 55 years.

This is only a small snippet of all the amazing things Sylvia has achieved! Thank you for all your efforts and we hope you had a wonderful day yesterday.


Congratulations to Joss Urbahn, made Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Squash and Surf Lifesaving

From a Squash New Zealand Poipātū Aotearoa perspective Joss Urbahn has had a substantial impact on our sport, in particular to our rules and refereeing for over 25 years.

Joss was Squash New Zealand’s Director of Rules and Refereeing for most of the time between 1994 and 2011. Joss was acknowledged for her work throughout this period as she won our national award for ‘Services to Refereeing’ (named Derek Cook Memorial Trophy) in 1996, 2000, 2006 and 2011.

Joss’s expertise and leadership remains current in Squash as recent as the 2023 National Championships where she was the lead of all our 10 national referees who officiated the event.

Congratulations again Joss, we are honored to have you as a member of the squash community.


Many people within the squash community are currently facing challenging times, in need of support. One such individual is Gary Duberly, a respected figure in our community for decades and a current Squash New Zealand Poipātū’ Aotearoa Board member.

To help Gary through this difficult period, his club, North Shore, has set up a Givealittle page. Let’s come together to support one of our own.

Let’s Rally for Gary!


We are pleased to announce some exciting news regarding our High Performance (HP) programme. As a result of recent successful shifts in our HP programme, along with the support from HPSNZ and recognising her immense potential, Catherine LoganMcLeod, who we refer to as Cat, has transitioned from her previous role in Performance Logistics Coordinator to become our new HP Manager.

This is a significant development for squash, as we now have a full-time National Performance Coach to lead the culture and on-court standards of our player development, and a full-time HP Manager to develop and implement our End-to-End Pathway. Squash and Cat have also been successful in securing an investment from HPSNZ through the ‘Women in High Performance Sport Residency Experience,’ which will provide financial and professional development support to assist in expanding Cat’s responsibilities.

This is a dream role for Cat, who will leverage her experience as a squash professional and coach, her high-performance background, a psychology degree, and business skills to drive positive changes in our HP programme.

Cat and Jonathan work incredibly well together, and their combined efforts will undoubtedly enhance our HP programme. Please join me in congratulating Cat on her new role!

Selwyn Sports Activation Spectacular

from Chris Lima

Squash has been on show recently at a sport activation spectacular over 4 weeks hosted by the Selwyn Sports Centre, with over 2500 students from 10 local primary schools taking part.

Using the Squash Walls, a group of intrepid volunteers from Squash Canterbury and coach George Thomas from Squash Midlands ran quickfire 20 minutes sessions introducing students to squash and having a go, almost all for the very first time. It was chaotic and trying at times but a huge amount of fun for both students and volunteers, and the feedback highlighting it was an amazing, interactive, and proactive experience but most importantly it has made a connection to the community for squash and planted the seed for further squash participation for thousands of potential new junior players.


New Zealand squash legend Dame Susan Devoy has become one of the first members of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Hall of Fame.

Dame Susan was inducted to the Hall of Fame alongside Pakistan’s Jahangir Khan, who is regarded by many as the greatest squash player of all time.

The pair are the inaugural PSA Hall of Fame inductees and have been formally honoured at the British Open of Squash which is being held in Birmingham in the UK.

Dame Susan is considered one of her New Zealand’s finest ever athletes, with four World Championship titles and eight British Open titles to her name.

Since her retirement as a professional player, Devoy has served as Race Relations Commissioner and more recently was appointed Vice President of the World Squash Federation.

“It’s a real privilege,” said Devoy.

“These awards keep the spirit of the sport alive and I’m delighted to be here with Jahangir, the greatest of all time. This man was always the ultimate gentleman and I’m so privileged to be standing beside him.”

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough said: “Susan and Jahangir are two of the finest players ever to play the sport and we’re thrilled to recognise their achievements by making them the first the players to be inducted into the PSA Hall of Fame.

“What Susan and Jahangir have achieved in the sport is incredible and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to celebrate their legacy.”

The PSA Hall of Fame has been launched to recognise the achievements of the game’s most influential characters, past and present.

Throughout 2024, PSA is celebrating 50 years since the International Squash Players Association – the precursor to the PSA – was founded. ISPA governed the men’s professional game initially, before a historic merger between the PSA and Women’s Squash Association (WSA) took place in 2015.

Coll Misses Out on British Open Final

New Zealand’s Paul

Coll has been beaten by Egypt’s Mostafa Asal in the semi-finals of the British Open of Squash.

Asal showcased his trademark determination as he came from behind to defeat two-time champion Paul Coll in five games at the Birmingham Rep Theatre. Coll was brilliant in the opening stages, controlling the tempo and hitting his targets at the front of the court to go a game ahead. The second game initially looked to be going the same way as Coll took a 4-1 lead, but Asal hit some quick winners to come back into the fixture and was able to knock Coll off his rhythm to draw level. Coll recovered brilliantly though, pushing on to restore his lead as Asal appeared to tire, with the Egyptian looking to go short and avoid playing long rallies with his opponent.

Asal made a dream start in the fourth as he took the first four points on offer. A flurry of errors initially opened the door for Coll, but after eradicating those misses Asal pulled away to level the scores at two games apiece. Coll’s accuracy completely deserted him in the fifth game as he gave away a series of strokes, and ‘The Raging Bull’ powered ahead to win 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6.

“It’s a nightmare [to play Coll] but we have had some tough battles over the past four or five years and he’s an unbelievable athlete,” said Asal.



“He picks up every single ball and I have to hit five crosscourt nicks to win a rally. All credit to him and I can’t believe I won this match.

“He was unbelievable in the first game and you start thinking about other things that aren’t on the court. Jimbo [James Willstrop, Asal’s coach] said to give it one more push, and I fought until the end. It’s a big stage and it’s my second semi-final here at the British Open.”

Result: [4] Mostafa Asal (EGY) bt [2] Paul Coll (NZL) 3-2: 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6 (67m)

By Farag in World Tour Semi Final

World No.1 Ali Farag got the better of World No.3 Paul Coll in straight games at the PSA World Tour Finals in Washington, US.

Farag and Coll were meeting for the sixth time this season and Farag levelled the head-to-head record at three wins apiece courtesy of an 11-10, 11-6 win over the Kiwi.

After taking a 1-0 lead on a sudden death decider, Farag ruthlessly dispatched Coll’s loose shots at the start of the second. Coll grew frustrated as Farag absorbed the pressure and nullified him, resulting in some simple errors at the mid-point of the second game. The Egyptian then held off a mini comeback from Coll at the back end of the second to seal his spot in the title decider of the final event of the 2023-24 season.

“Paul and I just exchanged a couple of words, saying how great of a season we’ve both had,” said Farag.

“We’ve both been getting to the latter stages of events and it’s not easy. It takes a toll on your body and mind, and it takes a whole team behind you to keep you

motivated. Even though it was the second to last match of the season, we both pushed really hard.

“The first game was played at such an erratic pace. Thankfully, he hit way too many errors for his liking, but the character he is he came back really strongly.

Result: [1] Ali Farag (EGY) bt [2] Paul Coll (NZL) 2-0: 11-10, 11-6 (30m)

Mitchell Cup & Cousins Shield 2024


2024 Mitchell Cup and Cousins Shield was hosted by Hawkes Bay Rackets Club with Lawn Tennis and Squash.

This is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year with the top players from around the country representing their clubs to claim this National Teams Title.

Games started on the Friday with the Men’s Qualifying round kicking off the competition. There was one upset in the Cousins Shield on day 1 with Tirirangi taking down top 8 team, Surf City, in the first round. Day two saw a couple of upsets in the Mitchell Cup with 5th seed, Henderson, manging to take out the 4th seeds, Hamilton, in a thrilling quarter final that went down to the very last match. While 6th seed, Hutt City, took out 3rd seed, Remuera. Semifinals were then played that afternoon with Mitchell Cup first, Henderson managed to clinch another upset over the number 1 seed, Mount Maunganui, claiming their spot in the final. While number 2 seed, Devoy, beat Hutt City. In the Cousins Shield, number 1 seed, Christchurch, beat Remuera and number 2 seed (and reigning champs), Devoy, took out Henderson.

Finals day started with the Mitchell Cup, it was yet another ‘to the wire’ match for the Henderson Girls with another tie break in the 5th between Ellie Epke and Ella Hill. Ellie managed to get the win in 4, making this the first time since 1993 Henderson Squash Club had won the Mitchell Cup. The Cousins Shield Final was just as thrilling, Christchurch had gained an early lead winning the first two matches, but a massive 5 set battle between Chris Van Der Salm and Ben Grindrod saw Devoy claim the 3rd and gain the momentum needed to take the 4th and 5th and claim their 3rd Cousins Shield title in a row.

Thank you to the host club, they did an amazing job managing 18 men’s and 13 lady’s teams. Thank you to all the players and supporters as well, it was an incredible turn out! See you all in the Waikato for 2025.

Henderson’s Michell Cup team
Devoy’s Cousins Shield team

Over the weekend Henderson Squash Club hosted the 2024 National Graded Championships! A b c d f e


A Grade Men’s

Lance Beddoes (Auckland)

A Grade Women’s

Shelley Kitchen (Northland)

B Grade Men’s

Jordan Tiplady (Auckland)

B Grade Women’s

Justine Pausch (Auckland)

C Grade Men’s

Malachy O’Connor (Central)

C Grade Women’s

Montana Vette-Blomquist (Northland)

D Grade Men’s

Lochlan Shaw (Eastern)

D Grade Women’s

Dayna Burr (Waikato)

E Grade Men’s

Matthew Dalton (Waikato)

E Grade Womens

Josie Ovenden (Eastern)

F Grade Men’s

Tytus Apu (Auckland)

F Grade Women’s

Juliet Roberts (Waikato)

Skillzea PSA Squash Open Showcases

Exciting Matches


The Skillzea PSA Squash Open, held from June 19-23 at Pirates Squash Club in Otago, concluded with thrilling matches in both the men’s and women’s categories.

In the women’s final, No.1 seed Madeleine Hylland defeated Winona-Jo Joyce in a hardfought match. Hylland rallied after dropping the first game to win 8/11, 11/4, 11/7, 11/8 in just 30 minutes, demonstrating her skill and determination on court.

In the men’s final, Elijah Thomas triumphed over Lwamba Chileshe with scores of 11/8, 11/8, 11/3 in a 40-minute match. Thomas showcased excellent control and strategy throughout, securing the title with a solid performance.

Next up, many of these talented players will compete in the South Island/Canterbury Open PSA Challenger event from June 2830 at Richmond and Christchurch Squash Clubs. This upcoming tournament promises more exciting squash action as players aim to continue their success on the PSA circuit.

Some of our exciting upcoming national events!

Ladies PSA Open

(1) Madeleine Hylland bt (2) Winona-Jo Joyce 8/11 11/4 11/7 11/8 (30 mins)

Men’s PSA Open

(4) Elijah Thomas bt (3) Lwamba Chileshe 11/8 11/8 11/3 (40 mins)


TEAM SPIRIT: New Zealand Prepares for Junior World Squash Championships

With the Junior World Squash Championships just around the corner in Houston, Texas this July, the New Zealand junior squash team is gearing up for an exciting challenge. Their final training camp in Remuera, held on June 15-16, was a blend of focused preparation and teambuilding camaraderie.

At the final training camp the team engaged in a variety of activities aimed at finetuning their skills and team building. A highlight was a sprint session on top of Mount Hobson, designed not just to improve physical endurance but also to strengthen bonds among team members.

The team also benefited from insights shared by High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) nutritionists, who emphasized the importance of food hygiene and proper nutrition while traveling. These sessions were crucial in ensuring the athletes remain healthy and energized throughout their campaign.


In addition to physical preparation, the team collaborated with HPSNZ on creating personalized wellness plans. These plans aim to provide support and maintain connections to their homes and support systems during their time abroad.

With their preparations complete and excitement building, the New Zealand junior squash team is ready to showcase their skills on the global stage. “We’ve worked hard for this opportunity,” shared girls team captain Ella Lash. “Now, it’s about putting it all together and giving our best effort.”


In 2023, the New Zealand Trans tasman Test Series ended with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Australia, earning the Shield for the 5th time in the series’ history—a testament to New Zealand’s squash prowess. Looking forward to the 2025 series in Perth, selectors acknowledge the increased travel expenses. To support the team:

1. Appeal for Sponsorship: Selectors are seeking support from squash enthusiasts or businesses willing to sponsor or partially fund the 2025 NZ Masters team, with opportunities for naming rights.

Contact Catherine McLeod if you would like more information or have some ideas

2. Supporting Through “Give a Little” Page: Squash New Zealand (SNZ) have set up a “Give a Little” page to collect donations, ensuring the team has the financial support needed to compete at their best. Click HERE to donate on the Give a Little page.

As New Zealand’s squash journey continues towards Perth 2025, the team relies on community support to achieve success on the international stage. With opportunities for sponsorship and contributions through the “Give a Little” page, every contribution plays a crucial role in supporting the team’s aspirations.

referee - in the hot seat


Club/District Affiliation:

Juniors- Reporoa Squash Club and Geyser City Squash Club

Seniors- Rakia Squash Club and currently Whangarei Squash Club

Referee Certification:

L2, Actively pushing threw to be L3

Referee Experience:

Over the past five years, I have gained extensive learnings as a squash referee, starting at the local club level and advancing to district-level tournaments and this year been allocated to PSA round play..

Refereeing Philosophy:

My refereeing philosophy centers on fairness, consistency, and respect. I believe that the most important qualities for a referee are impartiality, clarity in decision-making, and the ability to maintain management of the match while ensuring that the players understand and respect the rules.

What do you believe are the most important qualities for a referee to possess?

I believe the most important qualities for a referee to possess are impartiality, clear communication, and composure. Impartiality ensures that every decision is made fairly and without bias, maintaining the integrity of the game. Clear communication is essential for explaining decisions to players and maintaining transparency on the court. Composure allows a referee to remain calm and confident, even in high-pressure situations, which helps to manage the game effectively and earn the respect of players and spectators alike. Additionally, a thorough understanding of the rules and the ability to apply them consistently is crucial for making accurate and reliable judgments during matches.

Memorable Moments:

During a district-level game when I called a ball “not up.” This led to an aggressive argument between the

Advice and Tips:

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in becoming a squash referee?

Learn the rules thoroughly and gain practical experience by refereeing at local matches. Stay composed and impartial during games, focusing on clear communication with players. Seek feedback regularly and nurture a genuine passion for squash and fair play.

Future Goals:

My future goals as a squash referee include continuing to improve my skills and knowledge in the sport. I plan to continue WSO courses to enhance my expertise further. Additionally, I aim to officiate at higher-level tournaments and championships, challenging myself to excel in more competitive environments.

We are pleased to announce that we have two new accredited referees players, which then shifted towards me. Despite the pressure, I stood by my call, and the game continued. After the match, the player approached me and apologized, admitting they knew the ball was not up but argued out of frustration. This incident highlighted the need for confidence, composure, and restraint as a referee.

Allan Bailey

WSO level 3, Kawaroa Park Squash Club Central Squash

Bryan Ford

WSO level 2 Whangarei Squash Club Northland Squash

Referee Glenn carson reports

from the PSA World Champs in Cairo

After expressing my interest in being selected to referee at the PSA World Champs earlier in the year, it was certainly exciting to receive a confirmation email in late March to say I had been appointed to go to Cairo for the event in May. Being recently appointed as a WSO Level 4 referee would have no doubt helped me to be successful in my appointment. Support from Squash New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand was much appreciated to help overcome the challenge of just how far we in New Zealand are from the World Tour and the high cost to get to these pinnacle events.

The journey to Cairo was a long and tiring one, but worth it when we saw the first of the two amazing venues, the Palm Hills Sports Club which was being used for the World Champs early rounds. The early rounds were not a particularly high workload with a number of Egyptian referees there, however the expectations of quality decision making combined with exceptional match management with a lot on the line every match made for quite a challenge – especially on a bouncy

plaster court with no video referee as a backstop. I remember day 3 being particularly tough when to say the match ups were difficult would be an understatement.

The second half of the event was an outdoor court based at the Egyptian Museum of Civilisation where all the matches were played in the evenings.

Highlights here for me was being allocated the women’s semi final between Gohar and El Hamammy, arguably one of the most difficult match ups to referee. It was a long night of matches, with my last being video referee on Paul Coll and Mostafa Asal – which started well after midnight and “that call” on match ball. It was incredibly tough to put any unconscious bias aside and focus on “two players and the ball”, and come up with the right decisions, but I’m pleased with how I coped with that pressure.

There was plenty of learning for me from a refereeing perspective, with limited exposure at the highest level since Covid – really only the

Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the 2 New Zealand Opens in the past couple of years, so this was important to stay relevant on the World Tour. Refereeing continues to evolve at the highest level, and while it goes without saying that you have to get the majority of decisions correct, there is a high emphasis on match management, particularly around the recent Refereeing Directives on influencing the Referees decisions.

It wasn’t all squash for Nicki and I though. Thanks to our Egyptian referee friend Samah Hanafi we were treated to some spectacular days sightseeing as a trip to Cairo wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and a boat trip on the Nile.

Hey Ref!


We have released some new guidelines to uplift your squash club’s court maintenance


If someone turns on the receive of serve, is it an automatic let?

AIn any turning situation, the referee needs to be satisfied that the ball was able to be played and the striker was turning with intent to play the ball, rather than turning simply to create a let situation. If there is a genuine safety issue i.e. reasonable chance of any contact or risk of hitting the opponent, a ‘let’ is appropriate for most situations. However, if the opponent is making every effort to clear the situation and is well clear of any swing or front wall interference, then a ‘no let’ could be considered. If the opponent is moving in such a way as to prevent the shot, it could also be a stroke. Safety MUST be the first consideration when making a decision in this situation.

The act of turning is often so quick that it can be contentious when you give a decision so you may need to back it up with an explanation…… ’no let, the ball was unable to be played’

Several rules to consider 8.13.1-4, 8.6.1, 9.1.5

Do you have a refereeing question or a situation you are not sure about?

Chances are others may have the same query. Send your query to our NZ Referees c/ and we will share the answers with the squash community each month.

It is the first wave of three this year to assist clubs to uplift their facilities. Further guidelines to follow this year will be in the areas of floor sanding, lighting, HVAC, changing rooms, lounge and kitchen

We know that in general our courts and clubs are not up to standards our members expect and we are providing as much support as we can to make it easier for clubs to enhance their facilities.

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our website under Club Resources this includes fantastic deals to save your club $$$! These include:

• Deals from building, flooring, roofing, painting and HVAC suppliers

• Network of contractors

• Facility guidelines

Please note – every situation is different and without seeing the exact context (player skill, direction of movement etc) we are giving our responses based on the rules and some guidance on how to apply them.

Share your club’s uplift journey! Email


Matt from Hastings Tennis and Squash Club had a front wall that was extremely damaged and they were looking for long term solution to repairing the wall. They got multiple quotes, but the best solution ended up being someone connected to the club.

A few questions we asked them about the project:

Reason for getting work done:

The front wall was past small patch jobs and more than they could internally fix. The courts plaster was falling out making it unsightly and unusable. Basically anything above a ‘D’ grade male was causing damage with every shot. The one particular court had had numerous repairs over a long time. Each time they repaired one area another one would appear.

What you considered when looking at a contractor?

Cost and time frame were the biggest considerations. They also wanted to consider previous work the contractor had done so asked for examples. The contractor was very confident he could fix the wall and make a huge improvement to its condition as concrete and plaster has come a long way from when the wall was first done.

Cost of project:

$9000+ GST. First looked at one contractor who quoted 48k. They simply couldn’t afford that. The current president had a friend that who was a “concrete guru” and was more then confident he could repair the wall.


1. Probably the amount of dust. The contractor did a massive job in terms of clean up and trying his best to limit the dust. “But my God it took a clean up effort.”

2. Would look at stripping the whole court instead of just the front wall to make sure they didn’t have to consider that court at all for a long time.


All in all, they were very happy with the results. It was a huge ask for the 48k in funding and fundraising. The $9000 was much more achievable/realistic. The contractor had a couple of ties to the club as well - he has made a couple of phone calls to following up with how it’s all going.

If you are looking for info on developing your facility, jump on our Facility Support page, we have Contractor Contacts, Special Offers and more to help clubs out.

If you want to get in touch with them to find out more email:


Free Access to the Squash Skills Training App!

Don’t miss out on this exclusive chance to get free access to the Squash Skills training app. Check out the promo video here.

The app offers hundreds of on-court activities, including the Kiwi Squash and Squash Start programmes. But hurry—only 25 spots are available! Click here to register your interest now!

Coach Profile


How long have you been involved in squash, both as a player and a coach?

As a player, I have been involved in squash (dare I say) for 40+ years. I began my squash journey in Sydney, Australia. I have always been very passionate about coaching and have 15+ years of experience, mainly at the club level, and for the past 7 years with the BOP Development Girls squad.

What motivated you to start coaching?

Love of the game. I wanted to use my experience to help others improve, reach their targets, and build their confidence with skill sets and the belief that they can be better players.

How would you describe your coaching philosophy?

Keep all lines of communication open. Engage with players as much as possible. Keep it simple. Listen.

What are some of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had as a coach? Or what do you enjoy most about coaching?

Seeing your player reach their target/potential. Knowing they trusted in your coaching programme and its

delivery. Their confidence and skill set improved with each session.

I enjoy if they can leave each session with a smile and a circle of confidence around them!

What advice would you give to aspiring coaches?

Knowledge, passion, patience, and love of our wonderful game.

Q1: Who is the National High-Performance Coach?

Q2: What does Jonathan Kemp, Cat Mcleod, Emma Millar and Paul Hornsby have in common?

Q3: Who is the current 3x Cousins Shield champions?

Q4: Who is the 2024 Tanya Lawrence Award recipient?

Q5: Who is the 2024 Mitchell Cup Winner?

Q6: Since 2015, what month commonly is the highest participation rates?

Q7: How many countries play squash?

Q8: What was the first year National Graded Champs was played?

A1: Jonathan Kemp
A2: World Juniors Coaching team!
A3: Devoy Squash and Fitness
A4: Ben Grindrod
A5: Henderson Squash Club
A6: May
A7: 188
A8: 2012

Cheryl & Nick Clark


Congratulations to our Kärcher Volunteer of the Month - Nick and Cheryl Clark

Nick and Cheryl first moved to Otorohanga in 2000 and became involved in squash though their neighbours in the local farming community. They quickly became heavily involved with the committee, both holding positions as president, secretary, and club captain over the years even running the kitchen on a Friday night at the club.

Otorohanga Squash Club became stagnant for a number of years without people willing to give time to form an active committee resulting in steep decline in club members. This year they have focused on attracting new players of all ages and stages in the community through open club night for people to come have a go and encourage members to be involved with the organisation.

Since March 2024 they have seen club membership and involvement at the club increase significantly with 53 persons currently active with a range of squash activity levels. Nick and Cheryl provided’ get started’ beginner training for 23 adults and youth to assist with personal confidence and connection to the club

members. They have increased numbers of players involved in playing formal tournaments or interclub and social activities at the club.

Nick has run a social night on Monday’s every week regardless of numbers to enable everyone to get court time. While Cheryl has been dedicated to implementing a junior program to connect students at all ages. They have contacted local schools and successfully applied for local community grants to assist with equipment funding. Recently running a Her Move programme with Otorohanga College, introducing squash to a group of 16 girls to squash. They utilised three of the Otorohanga junior club member students to demonstrate the game in real terms, encourage them to have a try and then engaged them all in a game of crazy spread over two courts.

Nick and Cheryl work tirelessly to support the club in any way they can, whether it is on the court feeding balls, redesigning the club logo, building relationships with other sporting codes or simply bringing the club members closer together.

Thank you both for all the work you do!

MOUNT MAUNGANUI Festival of Squash

Back in 2008, Mount Maunganui Squash Club and Sport Bay of Plenty held the Mount Maunganui Festival of Squash, setting up an all-glass court in an unusual setting, Bayfair Shopping Centre.

This was a wildly successful move with the finals drawing a capacity crowd of 500, but even while the players practised during the week there would be crowds of 200+. The 2009 Mt. Maunganui Festival won the Sparc Innovations Award with the judges awarding the organisers for “doing something completely different and quiet literally taking the sport to the public”

To read more about this blast from the past and more get a copy of Long or Short: The Story of New Zealand Squash

Click here to purchase Long or Short by Joseph Romanos

squashlevels / FAQS ANSWERED


- What is a ‘Level’

Answer - a ‘Level’ is a ratio that is measuring your current playing form.

SquashLevels adjusts your Level after each match based on the full game scores and how well you did against how you were expected to do against your opponent. If you do much better than expected, you can move up a lot. Of course, that probably means your opponent did much worse than expected and can move down a lot too. If you both played as predicted, there would be little movement.

Example - If Player A is Level 500 and Player B is 1000 then Player B is twice as good as Player A and therefore expected to get twice as many points and win their games by around 11-6/11-6/11-5. The same would be expected for someone on 3000 playing someone on 6000.

Q2 - Why did my Level go down even though I won?

Answer – even though you won, you did not play to your current level.

A key point to help understand why your level can go down even if you win, is understanding the difference between our old and new grading system which is we no longer have grading ‘points’ that are won or lost. Your new ‘Level’ is measuring your current playing form. SquashLevels adjusts your Level after each match based on the full game scores and how well you did against how you were expected to do against your opponent.

This also means you may find your Level decreases if you win your match but not as well as you were expected to, while on the positive side this also means you can lose but your Level can increase if you played better than expected, meaning every match gives you something to play for.

If you check your match history, most likely you will see some matches you lost where your level increased, so it all balances out in the end to find your true current playing level.

Q3 - I’m playing someone less than half my Level, what can I do to maintain my Level?

Answer – generally if they are around a third of your level, you can keep the games close and extend the rallies and they can get to around 15-10 in each. But don’t let a game go to extra points (win-by-two) or give your opponent a game.

If a player is half your Level – you shouldn’t take them lightly and avoid an upset! Half means if you play your best squash, you should win around 15-7 15-8 15-8. If you get up easily in the first game then you’ve got a few points up your sleeve for the next game.

SquashLevels knows, based on millions of past results, that it expects the higher-level player to play down anywhere between 20%-40% and allows for this. If the difference between players is really big such as four or five times, it excludes the match completely. Generally, you can keep the games close but giving away a game may result in your level decreasing.

Because we’ve heard from the community this is an area causing a lot of concern, we’ve analysed results from over the last 12,000 New Zealand matches.

Matches where there was a 2.5x or greater difference between two players and the higher-level player had a decrease from the match outcome accounted for only half a percent of all matches played. These are rare occurrences!

It’s important to note that often player’s Levels can be adjusted down marginally (e.g. 0.4%) after a match because of pool calibration. These can often be mistaken for a Level decrease due to a match result, whereas in fact the match result has had no impact on player Levels.


with calculation explanations taken from SquashLevels

EXAMPLE 1 – 2.3x difference between players

Due to the difference between the players’ levels, allow for the likelihood that Martin Dowson was taking it easy by anything up to 17%. This gives him an allowed level range for this match between 1,451 and 2,094 without affecting his level.

In this case, Martin Dowson played at level 1,644 and remained within his allowed range so his level will not be adjusted. On the assumption that Martin Dowson would normally have been playing at level 1,743 (based on typical behaviour), Brian Partridge played better than expected and therefore gains a pre-damping level increase of 6%.

EXAMPLE 2 – 3.0x difference between players (higher grades)

Due to the difference between the players’ levels, allow for the likelihood that John Fletcher was taking it easy by anything up to 25%. This gives him an allowed level range for this match between 2,937 and 5,211 without affecting his level.

In this case, John Fletcher played at level 3,502 and remained within his allowed range so his level will not be adjusted. On the assumption that John Fletcher would normally have been playing at level 3,912 (based on typical behaviour), Shane Mulcahy played better than expected and therefore gains a pre-damping level increase of 12%.

Allowing for the difference in level between the players, including some additional protection for the better player, the adjustments have been reduced to 0% and 6.5% respectively.

EXAMPLE 3 – 3.1x level difference between players (lower graded)

Due to the difference between the players’ levels, allow for the likelihood that Pauline Cormack was taking it easy by anything up to 27%. This gives her an allowed level range for this match between 134 and 270 without affecting her level.

As Pauline Cormack has played below her allowed range at 132, her level reduction is 1.5% before damping. On the assumption that Pauline Cormack would normally have been playing at level 198 (based on typical behaviour), Anna Shaw played better than expected and therefore gains a pre-damping level increase of 23%.

Allowing for the difference in level between the players, including some additional protection for the better player, the adjustments have been reduced to 0% and 12% respectively.


It’s back! The NZ Racketball Festival heads to Tauranga on Saturday 17 August for one day of fun-filled Racketball action.

Round up your team and register now!

• Mixed teams of 3 (must be at least one male or female)

• Max one A-Grader per team

• 3 matches on the day

• Matches best of 3, PAR11 (lowest division PAR15)

• Blue Competition ball to be used

• $90 entry fee per team - includes dinner and spot prizes

Register your team here

Individuals can register to be placed into a team by emailing






National tournament calendar

16th - 18th

1st - 3rd

26th - 28th

16th -19th

24th - 26th

31st - 2nd

7th - 9th

21st - 23rd

19th - 23rd

28th - 30th

5th - 7th

12th - 14th

19th - 21st

2nd - 4th

9th - 11th


31st - 1st

18th - 21st

18th - 21st

18th - 21st

18th - 21st

18th - 21st

4th - 6th

7th - 8th

18th - 20th

21st - 22nd


Rochelle Hobbs Memorial Henderson PSA Open

NZ Doubles Championships

NZ Junior Open

Auckland Open PSA Challenger

Oceania Closed PSA

Mitchell Cup & Cousins Shield

Morrinsville PSA Challenger

National Graded Championships

Skillzea PSA Open

Trident Homes South Island Open PSA Challenger

NZ Squash Championships

South Island Junior Age Groups

North Island Junior Age Groups

NZ Seconday Schools Squash Nationals

Masters Club Team Championships

NZ Racketball Festival

NZ Inter-District Team Championships

G.J. Gardner Homes National Superchamps

B Grade Superchamps

C Grade Superchamps

D Grade Superchamps

E Grade Superchamps

F/J Grade Superchamps

G.J. Gardner Homes NZ Junior Age Group Championships

NZ Inter-District Junior Team Championships

G.J. Gardner Homes NZ Masters Championships

NZ Inter-District Masters Team Championships







Henderson Squash Club

Christchurch Squash Club

Squash Gym Palmerston North

North Shore Squash Club

Papakura Tennis & Squash Club

Hawkes Bay Squash Rackets Club

Morrinsville Squash Club

Henderson Squash Club

Pirates Squash Club

Richmond & Christchurch Football SC

Devoy Squash & Fitness Centre

Otago Squash Club

Taupō Squash Club

Hutt City Squash Club

Whanganui Squash Club

Devoy Squash & Fitness Centre

Otago Squash Club

Whangarei Squash Club

Hamilton Squash & Tennis Club

Methven Squash Club

Kawaroa Park Squash Club

Squash City Invercargill

North Shore Squash Club

North Shore Squash Club

Tawa & Manā Squash Clubs

Tawa & Manā Squash Clubs

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