SQUASH EASTERN AWARDS was held Saturday 10th November at The Taradale Club. The following are the awards presented on the night.
Most Improved Junior Girl
Zara Evans – Havelock North SC
• Zara ended last year as a C2 and is now a B2
• She has risen 545 points and during the year beat an opponent who was 540 points above her, winning nearly 60% of her matches
Most improved Junior Boy
Kahn Grayson – Surf City SC
• Kahn started the year as a C2 and is now a B1
• He has risen 965 points and during the year beat an opponent who was 775 points above him. Kahn played 78 matches this year, winning nearly 70% of them
Most Improved Senior Woman
Alex Turley – Hastings T&SC
• Alex started the year 50 point into E1 and is now 50 points into D1
• She has risen 390 points and during the year beat an opponent who was 190 points above her, winning nearly 70% of her matches
Most Improved Senior Man
Kent McLachlan – Hastings T&SC
• Kent started the year as an E2, spent a couple of weeks in C Grade and is now only 20 points off moving back to C2.
• He has risen 1,085 points and during the year beat an opponent who was 510 points
Most Improved Masters Woman
Sharon Codyre – Havelock North SC
• Sharon started the year having just moved 15 points into C2 and is now a C1
• She has risen 320 points and during the year beat an opponent who was 450 points aboveher, winning 60% of her matches
Most Improved Masters Man
Allen Hokai – HBLT&SC
• Alan started the year as an F Grade and is now less than 100 points off E1
• He has risen 525 points and during the year beat an opponent who was 580 points above him. Allen won 80% of his matches
Junior Sportswoman of the Year
Winona-Jo Joyce – Havelock North SC
• Oceanic U-17 Champion – Held in Australia
• Trans-Tasman challenge
• Australia Junior Open – 2nd place
• NZ Junior Open – 4th place
• Auckland Junior Open – 3rd place
• North Island Juniors U-19 – 3rd place
• Competed in the World Junior Squash Championships, India
• NZ vs Australia Secondary Schools – #1 Senior
• NZ Junior Age Groups U19 Special Plate Winner
• Part of Eastern team who finished 2nd in Junior Nationals
• Sport HB Secondary School Squash Award
• NZ Elite Junior Squad
• Eastern Women’s & Juniors team #1
• New Zealand Trans-Tasman U-17 #1
• New Zealand Secondary Schools #1
• Member of the 2018 New Zealand Junior World’s team chosen to travel to Chennai, India
• NZ Senior Ranking – #14
• NZ Junior #4
• Eastern Woman #1
• Eastern Junior #1
Junior Sportsman of the Year
Willz Donnelly – Surf City SC
• Reached A2 and now only 165 off A1
• Special Plate Winner at North Island Age Groups
• Captain of the NZ Senior Secondary School Team for the Trans-Tasman Challenge
• Represented Eastern at both Senior and Junior level
• Has played 67 matches this year with a 76% win ratio
• 3rd in Junior National Age Groups U19
• Has still made time to coach his Eastern Junior team mates and other players in Gisborne Selections
• #2 Eastern Senior Team
• #1 Junior Team Team
• Captain of Senior NZ Secondary Schools Team Rankings
• NZ Junior #8
• Eastern Man #2
• Eastern Junior #1
Senior Sportswoman of the Year
Rosemary Mair – HBSRC
• Has played 56 matches this year with a 73% win ratio
• Reached A2 status in June
• Winner of the HBSRC Open in July
• Winner of the HBLT&SC Open in July
• Winner of the Eastern Open held at HBSRC in June
• Winner of the Taupo Open in June
• Winner of the Putaruru B and below in April
• Winner of the HBSRC Easter Open in April
Senior Sportsman of the Year
Sam Neil – HBSRC
• Has played 46 matches this year with a 69% win ratio
• An integral member of the HBSRC C Grade Men’s team that won the recent Nationals during which he remained unbeaten
• Won his Division of the HB Open in August
• Won his Division of the Eastern Open at HBSRC
Masters Sportswoman of the Year
Kathy McLachlan – Hastings T&SC
• As a C1 she beat the top seed, an A2, in her age group at the National Masters
• Took another A2 to 5 only just losing
• Was an integral part of the Eastern Masters team, playing down an age and pulling off some brilliant wins
• A part of the Havelock North SC winning C Grade Nationals team
• Recently awarded Life Membership of Hastings T&SC
Masters Sportsman of the Year
Colin Hayvice – HBLT&SC
• Winner of the 75+ New Zealand Masters title
• Achieved E1 status in winning this title
Volunteer of the Year
• Helped in the lead up to the District Superchamps Eliminations, held at Hastings Tennis & Squash Club
• Prepared the draw and assisted in the running of the annual G&H Training Pot
• Prepared the draw for the 2018 Interclub competition and helped with any queries etc during the event
• Helped put together a concept for the 2018 Spring/Summer Interclub competition
• Was one of the driving forces behind this inaugural Annual Awards event
• Helped develop the rotation schedule for the District’s Major and Local events
• A Tournament Controller of the C Grade Nationals at HBSRC
• Runs regular Mercantile events at HBSRC
• Helps, as required, with draws and the running of tournaments at HBSRC
• Arranges and helps with fund-raising opportunities at HBSRC
• Wayne has always been one of the first to volunteer for working bees, turns up to support his club at challenge events. Squash is his passion and he has often been known to get back home after a night shift to put together a draw – much to Karen’s disgruntlement!!!
New Coach of the Year
Willz Donnelly – Surf City SC
• Gisborne is an integral part of the Squash Eastern family and 3 out of the 5 members of the 2018 Eastern Junior Boys team were from Gisborne. Willz was a part of that team and the fact that Kahn Grayson and Quade Hyde also made the team was due, in a very large part, to the coaching and mentoring from Willz Donnelly.
• Kahn was the District’s most improved boy by some margin, moving from C2 in October 2017 to B1 today. Quade Hyde spent 2017 on the sidelines having had a back operation but with the guidance and coaching of Willz has moved from C1 in April to B2 today.
• Willz has also been coaching a number of other members of both Gisborne Clubs, senior and juniors alike, including the Surf City B & C Grade Eliminations and Nationals teams. Yet he has still made time to play 67 competitive matches this year taking his own grading to close to A1 status. This year he Captained NZ Secondary Schools in the Trans-Tasman challenge,
• Willz has recently come on board as coach in the Squash Eastern Junior Academy, so will continue to work with both Quade and Kahn over the next year.
Club & School Coach of the Year
Murray Sutherland – Havelock North SC
• an integral part of the Junior Academy Coaching staff, with players ranging from J4 through to B2
• assists in the coaching of Winona-Jo Joyce, Eastern’s top Junior and now ranked No 14 Senior Women in NZ
• attends the weekly Junior club night, coaching all-comers with the help of a number of juniors who he is mentoring, helping them to become coaches in their own right
• coaches students from both Havelock North Primary and Intermediate Schools on a regular basis
• coaches a number of senior players at Havelock North Squash Club
• Spent some time with the C Grade Superchamps team prior to District Eliminations
• set up “Good Old Buggers’ squash (a club night for the over 50s) as a fund-raiser for Havelock North junior clinics; each attendee pays $5 if a member of $10 if not towards this fund and recently a group of 9 juniors went to a coaching clinic in the Bay of Plenty held by Robbie Wyatt and Graham Randolph, solely organized by Murray. This involved match play and coaching with the Bay of Plenty junior squad
• organizes regular coaching clinics during school holidays for both Havelock North and Academy juniors, often inviting a prominent coach from a neighbouring District, such as Kashif Shuja and Robbie Wyatt
• set up a relationship with Matawai School; he spent a couple of days there this year, with Winona-Jo Joyce, to give the parents some coaching tips and run a coaching clinic for the kids. This is supported by Eastern and another trip is being organized, with the plan for 3 more next year.
• The hours of commitment Murray puts into his coaching has had a positive impact on membership and participation and he is a key part and invaluable asset to Havelock North Squash Club. The outstanding performances and support from both player and coach are a testament to him and his club.
Performance Coach of the Year
Joel Le Comte – Havelock North SC
• an integral part of the Junior Academy Coaching staff, focusing more on the Performance Players (Jena Gregory who is a member of the NZ Junior Elite
Development Squad and has achieved A2 status at the age of 14, Zara Evans, Jasmine Roydhouse-Ross, Ryan Miller)
• coaches a couple of beginners and lower graded players
• the Junior Boys Manager and Coach at the Junior Nationals – prior to the event he held regular squad sessions for the boys at Havelock North, including those who are not members of the Havelock North Club
• Coach/mentor for the Eastern Newbigin Shield team who beat Central in September
• As with Murray, Joel has devoted hours of commitment into this coaching
A comment from Havelock North about both coaches:Joel & Murray have key qualities that distinguish them from just being a good coach to a great
coach. The goal of a great coach is to guide, inspire and empower a player or team to achieve their full potential. This includes:
• Development (individual training modules)
• Effective communication skills
• Getting to know the player/s
• Adaptation (both coach and player)
• Most importantly a good sense of humour
Award for Services to Squash
Audine Grace-Kutia – GHSOB
Personality of the Year
Rick Nichol – HBSRC
• Rick is always around when there is a party to be had. He especially loves all teams’ events, getting behind the Club’s and Eastern’s teams with full gusto.
• Karaoke, and Rick is there – singing off with the likes of Willie Donnelly. Coincidentally, tonight is the Taradale Club’s Karaoke night, so once this ceremony is finished we suggest you hop along to the next room and give your voices a work out!!!
Team of the Year
Napier Girls High School
• The team consisting of Jess Dean, Ally Harding, Sam Harding, Sara Dooney & Libby Dean won the National Secondary Schools title in August, the first time a school from Eastern – either Boys or Girls – has achieved this.
• 4 of the 5 girls are members of HBLT&SC and Sara Dooney is a member of HBSRC.
• They were coached and mentored by Mike Willis
Club of the Year
• Currently the top ranked club in Eastern on the iSquash module and ranked 7th in NZ
• A new Executive committee come on board in November 2017 with a Squash committee of 12 people many of whom were new members to the club and to a committee.
• The club ran 5 Squash Tournaments, Hastings Doubles, Hastings Open, Hastings D Grade & Below, Hastings Masters and the Superchamps Eliminations, although the D Grade and below was cancelled due to lack of entries. In lieu of this they ran a one-day tournament, which possibly brought in more numbers than the tournament would have.
• The Hastings club solely hosted superchamps Eliminations and was a great success
• The club received a number of positive comments about the comfort and appearance of the club from a number of out-of-towners.
• Hastings E Grade Men travelled to the Nationals, in Christchurch, finishing 3rd
• The Club won G&H with a number of new players playing this event for the first time.
• Along with the calendarized tournaments, the club ran a Business House League throughout the year, comprising of eight teams every Thursday. This is a very popular event is very popular bringing in new people to the club.
• They also ran the “not so PC” event, Honki/Hori again again this year. A great social squash event bringing together Pakeha and Maori challenging each other on the court. This year saw the Hori’s take out the challenge.
• The Club also hosted a number of other groups and events. Quiz Night for Ladies Hockey Team; Tennis Eastern meetings; and number of other fundraising events.
• Schools – this year saw St John’s College booked all courts for 14 weeks, Lindisfarne College booked 3 courts for 11 weeks and also the Secondary school competition of 4 courts for 9 weeks on a Monday.
• Through these initiatives and programmes the club has seen an increase of membership of 17% for the 2018 year across both codes, and this continues to grow progressively
• National Champion of Champions
o Tina Rangi Ladies C Grade Winner
o Alex Turley Ladies D Grade 3rd place, seeded 5th
o Kent McLachlan Mens D Grade 4th place, seeded 5th
o RJ Cook Mens B Grade 4th place
• Forthcoming events:
o RJ Cook has started a 4-week plan Spring into summer fitness with squash skills
o Christmas doubles tournament
o Friday club nights
• The club continues to work on upgrading its systems and appearance. This year has seen the upgrade of the booking system from Sports Manager II to Pay2Play. Along with the booking system the club also put in the Pay2Play lighting controllers. The upgrade to Pay2Play was seen as a very positive move. It reduced the administration tasks of our volunteers in the club office and also brought in some additional income from casual bookings.
• The upgrade of curtain rails has been done this year
• The club’s lounge facility is a major part of the success story. With the dedication of the Bar Manager (Amesh Taiapa), this facility always provides fun, laughter and enjoyment to the club members and visitors of the club. Throughout the year, there has been many Sky sporting events held at the club. This bring together our members in a social environment and additionally bringing in additional funds to the club
• The Bistro has been running throughout the year with a dedicated bistro lady. This has been fantastic for the club and is now seeing friends and families come up for a meal as well.
• Obviously, no club can survive and run smoothly without the continued commitment from volunteers. The committee this year (and previously) have been committed to the cause and always put in 110% effort, with monthly executive meetings held to stay on top of the club needs.
• This years dedicated Executive committee being; Ray Fyfe (President), Tania Tatana (Vice President), Herora Hosford-Brown (Treasurer), Hillary Prentice (Secretary), Alan Bout (Tennis Exec), Cara Tresidder (Tennis Exec), Lynda McKay (Tennis Exec), Kathy Mclachlan (Squash Exec), Tania Tatana (Squash Exec), Amesh Taiapa (Bar Manager)
• In summary, the club continues to move forward in membership and in appearance. It is a warm and welcoming club along with welcoming members. In addition, with the committed committees will continue to grow in membership and strength. It is the committees and most importantly, the members that make this club what it is!
Overall Sportsperson of the Year
Willz Donnelly – Surf City SC
Winners – Hast1 and Hast6