Over 60 players converged on the National Squash Centre in Cardiff to compete for the title of Welsh Champion.
It was great to see our Sport bouncing back from the pandemic and personally this felt like the first proper Welsh Closed since the blight of covid restrictions. Heartening to see so many youngsters on court at the first opportunity a court became free. Just as pleasing was to see a genuine representation of players from around Wales, with winners from Aberystwyth in the boys u19 event, Swansea David Lloyd in the girls u11, u17 & , u19 to Leon Lauder winning the boys u13 title from Porthmadog & Erin Patterson & Nia Thomas in the boys u17 & girls u15 respectively from Carmarthen joined by Madalena from Llantrisant. Lastly Archie Davies Clarke winning & Thomas Green winning the boys u15 event from Merthyr Rhiwbina Squash Club respectively.
This more than anything showcases the diversity of clubs we have in Wales. I loved the fact players, parents and coaches all stayed to support all the players competing, demonstrating the feel good factor we have in the junior programme and the family community we have in our great sport. The talent on display points to a positive future and in my 20 years plus involved in Squash Wales I have never seen a group of such strength as we have in the girls u13 & u11 age groups.
Anticipation is growing with National Selection on the horizon for the 5 Nations and European Teams Championship coming up. With the South Wales Junior Open coming up in Maesteg completing the selection events all is still to play.
Lastly just a quick mention for our boys u19 winner Rhys Evans. This was Rhys’s last Welsh junior event, more than anything Rhys in my opinion demonstrates all that is good about Squash in Wales, plays hard but fair, always engaging with other players and represents us on the World stage with aplomb. Logically Rhys shouldn’t be the player he is coming from a isolated squash region in Aberystwyth but with dedication, colaborated effort between player and governing body anything is possible and I hope all Juniors from all over Wales feel they have the opportunity like Rhys to fulfill their potential.
One very pleased National Coach looking forward to the upcoming International events with relish. Well done all and see you in Maesteg.
Junior National Coach