Jamie Oakley to take on world's best young squash players

By Peter White

Add a comment
HIGH HOPES: Jamie Oakley will compete in Poland at the world junior champs before starting a four-year scholarship at George Washington University. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER 300416sp10BOP
HIGH HOPES: Jamie Oakley will compete in Poland at the world junior champs before starting a four-year scholarship at George Washington University. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER 300416sp10BOP

Jamie Oakley is about to begin an unforgettable sporting odyssey.

He will lead the New Zealand charge at the 2016 Men's World Junior Individual and Teams Championship in Poland from August 6-17 before beginning a four-year squash scholarship to George Washington University in Washington, DC.

The 18-year-old from the Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre in Tauranga, and youngest son of former world champion Dame Susan Devoy, has enjoyed the best 12 months of his career.

He won the North Island Junior Age Group Under-19, Junior National Age Group Under-19, the AON New Zealand Junior Open and the Wellington Junior Open titles plus finished runner-up at the Canadian Junior Under-19 Open.

Up against professional touring squash players he made the main draw of the Waikato PSA and then in Tauranga he made the quarter-finals of the Tauranga PSA defeating Kashif Shuja with a world ranking of 155.

Oakley says Poland will be a huge challenge for the New Zealand players individually and in the team's event.

"The draw recently came out and I have played a couple of them before. I played the US Juniors for the last three years which a lot of the good kids play in and some of them are just crazy how good they are.

"I would like to make the third round but there are 128 people in the draw so to make the top 32 would be good and anything above that would be a bonus I guess.

"It will be a great experience for everyone going from New Zealand. Hopefully we can do the country proud and hopefully I can do the club proud as well."

On his return from Poland, Oakley has just two days in Tauranga before he flies out to George Washington University.

His performances in America and Canada over the last three years helped clinch the deal with the highly regarded institution.

"It is more of a reaching out sort of thing playing in those tournaments like the US and the Canadian," Oakley said.

"Most of the coaches are there watching or have someone from their college watching. You get in touch with them and it is a long process.

"I was lucky to be given the opportunity at George Washington and it is really an opportunity I couldn't really turn down."

Oakley is also looking forward to getting back into his academic studies with possibly architecture as a future direction he may follow.

But establishing himself in the squash team is his first objective.

"When I finish over there I may be 23 years old and I can still go on the pro circuit after that so I am not going to lose anything, only gain from the experience and get a degree as well hopefully."

Meeting up with two older brothers who are high performance athletes at US colleges is high on his agenda.

Josh Oakley is in upstate New York on a squash scholarship with middle distance runner Julian on an athletics scholarship at Providence College in Rhode Island.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 01 May 2017 10:48:35 Processing Time: 604ms