The Bay of Plenty Junior Open went ahead at Te Puke in August 2020. The prior year saw 70 entries, and for 2020 there were 58 entries and reduced spectators due to Level 2 lockdown restrictions. Competitors ranged in age from 8 to 18 years over 11 divisions. Due to clashes with re-scheduled junior events in other districts, and the lockdown in Auckland, all of the players were local BOP kids, which made for a 'BOP family' atmosphere. Entries were received from Geyser, Tokoroa, Taupo, Mt Maunganui, Devoy, Katikati, Opotiki and Te Puke Clubs. Top seeded players were siblings Katie and Glenn Templeton who hail from Katikati Squash Club, and are now also members of Devoy Squash & Fitness, and Auckland’s Henderson Squash Club.
Glenn is the reigning NZ junior men’s under 19 champion, and will compete to defend his title again in October 2020. Second seeded Joe Smythe aged 16 years gave everything to the final, dominating for the last two games, before Glenn fought his way back for a thrilling win. Final score: 13/11, 6/11, 11/7, 4/11, 15/13.
Katie Templeton aged 17 years took out the Bay of Plenty title for the first time, and as an experienced A grade player, will be difficult to beat next year. Play throughout the grades was enjoyed by the competitors, with fair play and honesty evident amongst our Bay junior grades.
Normally the BOP Junior Team for the upcoming nationals is announced at the prize-giving, but with gathering restrictions, that wasn't possible. The selectors had a tough time with some strong talent coming through the ranks. The Nationals are in Christchurch 2-6 October, where the players will play the individual age groups champs, before lining up against teams from around the country in the Teams champs.
Bay of Plenty Junior Team 2020:
|Jaime Mitchinson||Devoy Squash|
|Ella Hill||Devoy Squash|
|Erin Wyllie||Devoy Squash|
|Benjamin Adams||Devoy Squash|
|Robert Ward||Te Puke|
|Joe Smythe||Devoy Squash|