2024 Welsh Junior Closed Roundup - Squash Wales

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2024 Welsh Junior Closed Roundup

16th February 2024


A Wonderfully Competitive Tournament: Recap of the Welsh Junior Closed Squash 2024

Over 60 players converged on the National Squash Centre in Cardiff from the four corners of Wales to participate in the recent Welsh Junior Closed Squash 2024. Through the advent of the recent pilots for the Squash Wales Junior League, the National Governing body was able to add a mixed Under 9 event for the first time, signalling a positive step for the future of the sport. Players competed in various age groups, ranging from mixed Under 9 to dedicated groups for boys and girls from Under 11s through to the U19 age groups.

Merthyr Squash Club exhibited a strong presence at the tournament, which bodes well for the upcoming South Wales Junior Open in Merthyr next month. The level of squash displayed, coupled with the enthusiasm and sportsmanship demonstrated over the weekend, underscored the vibrancy of the event.

Inaugural Mixed Under 9 Event: Anders James Martin emerged as the winner of the inaugural mixed U9 event, defeating fellow Merthyr junior player Efan Davies in the final. Their display showcased the promising future of Welsh squash.

Age Group Highlights:

U11 Girls: Elsie Griffiths from Newport Squash Club triumphed over Heidi Hales from Bridgend Junior Bulldogs Club in a high-quality final.

U11 Boys: Joseph Breach from David Lloyd Swansea claimed victory over Owain Howe in another fiercely contested final.

U13 Girls: Eliza Hales from Bridgend showcased her dominance, defeating Grace Breach from David Lloyd Swansea in the final.

U13 Boys: Jacob Green from Rhiwbina clinched his first National title, albeit under unfortunate circumstances as opponent Leon Lauder sustained an injury during the match.

U15 Girls: Madalena Sidoli exhibited her prowess by securing a tightly contested victory over Erin Lauder from Porthmadog.

U15 Boys: Ethan Willis staged a remarkable comeback to secure his first National title against Reuben Davies of Rhiwbina.

U17 Girls: Mille Breach from David Lloyd Swansea emerged victorious over Nia Seran Thomas from Carmarthen in a competitive match.

U17 Boys: Archie Turnbull demonstrated his class by defeating Archie Davies-Clarke from Merthyr in the final.

U19 Girls: Ellie Breach added another title to her collection, triumphing over Izzy Beynon Cobb.

U19 Boys: Ioan Sharpe concluded his junior career on a high note by defeating Erin Angmo Paterson to secure the National title.

Upholding Sportsmanship: However, the final hour of the event was marred by unfortunate incidents of conflict among parents and players during matches. It is imperative for parents and coaches to uphold the highest standards of behaviour when spectating, as they serve as role models for the juniors. Creating an inclusive and safe environment is essential for the development of young players, and it is incumbent upon everyone involved to uphold the values of the sport.

Looking Ahead: Despite the challenges faced, the Welsh squash community is gearing up for exciting upcoming events, including the Inter-County finals in Sheffield, the 5 Nations tournament in Cardiff, and the European Junior Team Championships in Porto. These events offer opportunities for players to showcase their skills and uphold the values of squash.

In conclusion, the Welsh Junior Closed Squash 2024 was a testament to the competitiveness and spirit of the sport. As we move forward, let us continue to foster a positive and supportive environment for all players, ensuring that squash remains a sport of integrity and camaraderie. Best of luck to all participants in their future endeavours.

Greg Tippings, National Performance Coach

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