While the COVID 19 virus has caused the cancellation of this year’s World Junior Champs in the Gold Coast, it’s still important to recognise the achievement of two of our stars who were selected to represent NZ. See below an article that was written before the cancellation acknowledging our amazing BOP Juniors.
Two Bay of Plenty players have been named to represent New Zealand at the upcoming World Junior Squash Championships in Australia. Current national Under 19 Champion Glenn Templeton joins Tauranga’s Joe Smythe in a 6-strong contingent of boys to attend the event held in the Gold Coast July 19-30. The event begins with the individual World Champs, where the best from all over the globe will fight it out to following in the footsteps of several legends of the game to become Junior World Champion. Glenn will then line up with the 4-strong New Zealand team in the teams event which follows.
Glenn hails from Katikati squash club, and has a long list of notable achievements on his sporting CV already. With numerous national titles and an NZ junior ranking of number 1, Glenn is making the sport his main focus since leaving school last year. “I decided last year to focus on squash and try to make a living out of it. One of my bigger goals this year was to make the NZ Junior Team, so I am stoked to achieve the selection”.
Glenn is also a member of Devoy Squash & Fitness alongside his fellow NZ representative, Joe Smythe. Originally from Wellington, 16-year-old Joe has risen up through the ranks in a similar fashion to Glenn. He has won age group titles at the North and South Island Champs, as well as the Oceania Junior Champs. This will be Joe’s first time at the pinnacle event for juniors, and he could possibly play three world championships, making him an excellent prospect for the future. The Year 12 student at Tauranga Boys College is looking forward to making the most of his opportunity “It has always been a massive goal of mine, as I have been training hard for over 3 years. I'm extremely privileged for the opportunity I have been given, and I could've done it without my hardworking parents, coach and family and friends. I'm very excited and looking forward to the mahi and journey ahead”
Both boys are coached by Bay of Plenty’s District Coach and former professional player, Robbie Wyatt. “The two boys have been working very hard towards this outcome and is very deserved.” Over the last 7 years Wyatt has seen Templeton develop and sees his inclusion in the New Zealand team as the icing on the cake as far as his junior career is concerned. After the World Junior Champs in Australia, Glenn’s focus will turn to one day becoming a member of the New Zealand Men’s team and improving his world senior ranking.” Wyatt has worked with Joe Smythe for the last 3 and a half years. “Joe is as an absolute high flyer with a big ticker in this sport. He has worked very hard to make this team and I believe that the opportunities in Squash for him in the future could be great. I don’t make these comments lightly about both young men and believe that there could be exciting times ahead for Bay of Plenty Squash and also New Zealand Squash.”
Both boys are understandably disappointed the event has been cancelled, but their squash journey will continue, and the BOP Squash whanau will be watching and supporting.