Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Tauranga to host world junior event

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PHOTO: Dame Susan Devoy with Wayne Werder and Ross Norman. PHOTO/JAMIE TROUGHTON
PHOTO: Dame Susan Devoy with Wayne Werder and Ross Norman. PHOTO/JAMIE TROUGHTON

Tauranga will host the next world junior squash championships.

It is the first time the event will be hosted in the Bay of Plenty and former squash world champion Dame Susan Devoy is delighted the competition would be held in her home town.

It would comprise three events, the World Junior Men's Individual Championships, the World Junior Women Individual Championships and the World Junior Women's Team Championship. The individual championships would take place from July 19 to 23 and have 128 per draw while the team championships would take place from July 24 to 28 and host 24 to 32 international teams.

Tauranga is willing, able and excited by the opportunity to host this event, and are looking forward to welcoming the worlds best juniors to New Zealand.
Wayne Werder

The Devoy Squash and Fitness Club, Te Puke Squash Club and Mount Maunganui Squash Club would partner in the event.

Women's World Junior Team and Individual Championships organising committee chair Wayne Werder said the committee were delighted to have been granted the hosting rights for the 2017 World Junior Women's Championships after bidding for the event which lasted over a year.

"Tauranga is willing, able and excited by the opportunity to host this event, and are looking forward to welcoming the worlds best juniors to New Zealand.

Mr Werder said the Bay of Plenty squash community had pulled together with Squash New Zealand to plan and organise the event.

A glass court was planned to be placed in the Tauranga CBD for the event for locals to get a more personal view of the game, he said. The last time one was last used was in Mount Maunganui's Bayfair shopping mall during the Mount Festival of Squash from 2008 to 2009.

Squash New Zealand chief executive officer Jim O'Grady said the event would attract the very best athletes from around the world.

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"The world junior championships will create huge opportunities to market and promote Tauranga to a worldwide audience and at the same time boost the profile of squash in New Zealand and the Oceania region."

Former squash world champion Dame Susan Devoy said as a resident of Tauranga she was delighted Tauranga had been granted the rights.

"Squash is thriving here in Tauranga with great facilities, passionate volunteers, and a number of experienced past international players who know what is required to host an event of this scale. Tauranga is well placed to host the event, and I look forward to welcoming the worlds best junior players to Tauranga in 2017."

Former squash world champion Ross Norman said Tauranga was a city close to his heart, and one he visited regularly when was back in New Zealand.

"The Championships are an important stepping stone for up and coming players before they take on the senior ranks, and also an event where friendships are made for life ".

Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager Rhys Arrowsmith said the tournament was exactly the type of event that the Bay of Plenty had the potential to attract.

This event will bring an estimated $5m in spend during a traditionally quiet time.

"With over $800m in tourism dollars being spent in the Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty each year, events and conferences are key to widening this important economic steam train resulting in investor confidence for new business attraction"

- Bay of Plenty Times

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