Players in national squad

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He is thought to be the only Gore squash player to ever be selected for a New Zealand transtasman team.

Ashton Hansen (12) was chosen as part of the Squash New Zealand Junior transtasman team for under-13 boys.

He will compete at the transtasman Junior Test Series and the Oceania Junior Championships, in Australia.

“I’m looking forward to it. It will be really good excited,” Ashton said.

Waikato player Liam Smith was part of the under-13 team but there were 20 people from under-19 to his grade heading away.

However, Ashton was the only player from the lower South Island to make the cut.

He would play five games at the two tournaments and said the heat would be his biggest challenge.

New Zealand squash coach Nick Mita would take the boys team and Ashton looked forward to getting the best possible coaching.

They would begin training when he arrived in Australia for the competition in April.

He looked forward to developing his skills and “spending time with squash mates” from throughout the country.

He trained about five times a week at present and was ranked No 1 in New Zealand for under-13 boys.

Alongside the transtasman team, Ashton was part of the New Zealand Junior Development Boys squad alongside fellow Gore squash player Isaac Cowley (15).

The pair were guided by New Zealand coaches Glen Wilson and Temwa Chileshe and attended two training camps last year.

Isaac was rapt he made the side and said the coaching was a highlight.

“It’s good having good professional coaches,” Isaac said.

The pair would take part in two further camps this year.

Gore Town and Country Club squash president Brent Hansen said delighted to see players from the club excelling.

“They are well and truly developing through the programme in place that we’ve had for the last couple of years and it’s all just through parents coaching and helping out,” Hansen said.