Students of Tauranga Intermediate School have the opportunity to work with four international squash athletes including Commonwealth champion Joelle King.
On Monday, December 4, a group of international athletes connected with the local community to inspire the next generation of squash athletes, says Squash New Zealand representative Lewis Hampton.
Students had the opportunity to ask their burning questions in a Q&A session with the athletes, says Lewis.
Tauranga Intermediate School’s Maebh Manning was one of the students who got to experience this inspiring opportunity.
“I've been playing squash since year six, so that's like two years now,” says Maebh.
“But I started properly playing in year seven.
“That’s when I started getting coaching with Graeme Randolph.”
Maebh says she is E grade and competes.
“I really enjoy playing squash.
“It's really fun and it's awesome that we have Graham as a resource at our school.”
Maebh says she wants to be a professional squash player when she grows up.
“My brother is quite good at squash. He’s going to America and Canada for squash.. It’s really cool to have a role model to aspire to do what he does.”
“It's really cool to meet all these athletes that you see on the world stage in person and hear some of the answers and play with them. It is really inspiring.”
Maebh says she looks up to these athletes and they are some of her role models.
“It’s so cool to have such cool athletes to talk to and just be able to get to know some of the things that helped them get to where they are.
“I wanna go as far as I can and just keep playing squash ‘cause I really enjoy it.”
Tauranga is hosting this year’s New Zealand Festival of Squash.
“We're thrilled to have The New Zealand Festival of Squash right here in Tauranga,” Tauranga City Council venue & events manager Nelita Byrne.
“It's more than just hosting an event for us – it's about creating an environment where athletes can really shine, spectators can soak up the excitement, and our whole community can come together to revel in the incredible sporting action.”
“In Tauranga, hosting The New Zealand Festival of Squash isn't just a point of pride; it's a celebration of the community spirit that sports bring.
“Our support goes way beyond logistics and funding – it's about making sure everyone, from players to spectators, feels a warm welcome and the genuine embrace of sportsmanship.”