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Squash New Zealand National Awards Winners

The 2017 SNZ National Awards were held on the 25th November. The various winners for each awards can be found below.

New Coach of the Year: Luke Jones (Northland)

  • Luke is a top New Zealand player, not long out of the junior squash scene himself. He can relate extremely well to the younger players and they enjoy his coaching style and the enthusiasm he brings to the court.
  • Luke coaches Whangarei Squash Club junior players as part of WAS (Whangarei Academy of Squash) and also Northland Representative Juniors.
  • He was a Northland coach at the recent NZ Junior Age Groups coaching during the individual event as well as the teams event, and his coaching input is evident in how well Northland juniors have been improving and performing this past season.

Club and School Coach of the Year: Jarrod van Driel (Auckland)

  • Jarrod runs many programs at the Browns Bay Racquets Club, Red Beach Squash Club, Herne Bay and Ponsonby Rackets Club every term. He offers an extension squash program, which includes weekly Junior Club Nights, Afterschool Programs, Junior Interclub Coaching, Holiday Programs, Performance Camps, Junior Fitness Evenings, an Academy Program and many more.
  • Jarrod established the Double Dot Squash Academy, and has continued to develop this program over the past year. The aim of this academy is to provide a high performance program to facilitate the improvement and growth of committed junior squash players at the clubs Jarrod coaches at. Over the past year the Academy has been run for six selected juniors, and will soon be increasing to involve more juniors.
  • This year Jarrod has continued to do coaching with schools around Auckland. He has coached for Squash Auckland at some of their in-school micro court programs as well as running several free open days at a local club for the local school kids to attend.

Performance Coach of the Year: Glen Wilson (Auckland)

  • Glen coached the Auckland Senior Men and Women's team to second place in their respective divisions at the Senior National Inter-District Teams Event in Napier.
  • Alongside Mark Waldin coached the Auckland Junior team and led the Boys team to a win in the Junior National Inter-District Teams Event in Christchurch while the Girls team finished one place ahead of their seeding in sixth.
  • Coach/Manager for the NZ Women's World Team in 2016 whom improved their seeding finishing 7th.
  • Coach to the NZ Doubles team, which collected two golds and a bronze at the World Doubles Champs in Manchester in August.
  • Most recently, Glen was appointed by Squash NZ as National Coaching Manager, and will lead the NZ team to the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

Most Improved Players of the Year:
Most Improved Male: Paul Coll (Canterbury)

  • In August 2017 Paul Coll became the first New Zealand player since Ross Norman to claim a place inside the top 10 in the world. He has since achieved a career high PSA world ranking of 9 in October 2017.
  • Notable wins for 2017 include four top 10 players: Fares Dessouky, James Willstrop, Ali Farag and Karim Gawad.

Most Improved Female: Joelle King (Waikato)

  • Joelle has continued her push back to form following her archilles injury in 2014 with some tremendous results in recent months, including current world ranking of 9.
  • She has finished in the top 4 in the last 4 PSA events from August to October, including as a finalist in the Carol Weymuller Open and the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open beating top 10 players Nicol David, Laura Massaro, Camille Serme , Raneem El Welily, Alison Waters and also Annie Au in the process.

Referees Trophy for Personal Endeavour: Paul Kennett (Hamilton) Refs Personal Endeavour Small

  • Although a long-term player, Paul is a new Referee - who only started refereeing in the 2017 season however very early Paul showed great potential as a referee.
  • Paul achieved all of the requirements of National Referee by June 2017, and was named in the refereeing team for the 2017 World Junior Championships.
  • Paul performed very well at the 2017 World Junior Championships and the learning and development he gained will stand him in good stead for his future refereeing endeavors.

Referees Trophy: Chris Buckland (Ashburton) Derek Cooke Memorial Small

  • Chris attended a large proportion of our National Events this year. In addition to this Chris was appointed to the World Masters Games, World Junior Championships and was Tournament Referee for the Oceania Championships held recently in Tahiti.
  • Chris makes and huge contribution behind the scenes, including his continuing devotion to Squash Refereeing as a member of the Referees Management Panel.
  • Chris has also gone out of his way to Mentor and Assess candidates through the year, giving up much of his personal time to do so.

Chairman’s Award of the Year:

  • New Zealand Squash is in good company this year. Along with Egypt, England and France, we have players in both the men’s and women’s top 10 world rankings. It’s been a long time since New Zealand has been there. Paul and Joelle both have a world ranking of #9.
  • Paul has climbed from 20 at the start of 2017 to #9 - a fantastic achievement going along with his gold and bronze medals at the World Doubles. Other significant results:
    • Quarter finalist – TOC, El Gouna, St. Georges Hill
    • Semi-finalist – Canary Wharf, China Open
  • Joelle has been consistently in the top 10 and her comeback from a devastating achilles injury has been an amazing achievement capped off with a world ranking of #9 and 2 x gold medals at the World Doubles in August this year. Other significant results:
    • Quarter finalist – Hong Kong
    • Semi-finalist – US Open, Texas Open, China Open
    • Runner up – Carol Weymuller, Macau Open
  • Currently 4th= on the PSA World Series Standings
  • Not only do Paul and Joelle continue to perform on the tough world stage, they are also great ambassadors for New Zealand squash and great role models for younger players who aspire to go places in squash. They are joint winners of the 2017 Chair’s award.
  • Paul represented NZ in the World Doubles winning gold with partner Joelle King in the Mixed Doubles and is leading the NZ men’s team in the 2017 World Teams Championship in France in December.
  • Currently #9 in the world
  • In the last 12 months has risen in PSA rankings from 20 in December 2016
  • Joelle has successfully defended her World Doubles and Mixed Doubles titles paired with Amanda Landers-Murphy and Paul Coll respectively.

Personality of the Year:

The Personality of the Year award has often gone to a top NZ player – the likes of Dame Susan Devoy, Ross Norman, Paul Coll and Joelle King. These players have helped epitomise the personality of squash to New Zealanders and others around the world. The award has also been given to leaders, coaches, administrators and individuals who have helped to grow the game. This year’s award goes to someone who has been a NZ representative player, a leader, an administrator as well as an event-builder.

In April 2017 Tauranga hosted the World Junior Squash Championships – the first time a world championship event had been held in the city. It required a huge team effort to put the event together and deliver what was without doubt the best ever world junior championships the world squash community has ever seen. It also required someone to lead the event from start to finish - to oversee the operations, to engage with the local community, to raise the necessary funds, to provide the drive, enthusiasm and professionalism to ensure the event was delivered to highest possible standard.

By now you will have all guessed who this person is and I am sure he would be the first to recognise the contribution of all the other members of his team, the local squash community and the city of Tauranga but the award for personality of the year 2017 is Wayne Werder.

Wayne Werder – Bay of Plenty Personality of the Year Small

  • Wayne Werder is a member of the Devoy Squash & Fitness Centre, BOP Squash community, and the NZ Squash community who has contributed at all levels over the years both regionally and nationally.
  • Wayne was appointed Chairman of the organising committee for the World Junior Championships held in Tauranga in 2017. For two years he worked tirelessly behind the scenes in what was a fully voluntary role.
  • As Chairman of the committee Wayne was the key driver for the event.
  • He was involved in every aspect of the organization, securing funding (approx $750K budget) - Managing budgets - Liaising with WSF - Recruiting staff & volunteers- Managing staff - Running countless meetings - Looking after sponsors/partners- Dealing with suppliers/contractors- Communication with all stakeholders - Liaising with host clubs - Referee recruitment and management- Logistics support – airfares/accommodation etc - Handling entries - Overseeing Opening Ceremony - Overseeing draws - Arranging functions - Media responsibilities - Reporting
  • His passion and determination to deliver a world class event was clear. He wasn’t prepared to compromise his vision, and a World Class Event we did have.

Congratulations to all of the winners for your excellent work in 2017 and your contribution to our sport!

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