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In the thick of it .. Twelve players from Gore were among those taking part in the Junior Highlanders squash series at the Gore Town and Country Squash Club during the weekend. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE 

It’s a great squash community we’ve got.the Southland and Otago region packed into Gore for the third instalment of a junior squash series during the weekend.

The Junior Highlanders series involves boys and girls aged 5 to 19, who hit the courts at the Gore Town and Country Squash Club to compete in the open tournament.

Club president Garth Cleland said the event had been popular, with 48 entries overall. Twelve of those entries were from Gore.

“It’s been a great event. It really gives us the opportunity to promote junior squash in our community,” he said.

However, numbers were down from previous years, when about 60 entries had been received.

“It’s just having this event in the school holidays has really hurt us this time around. Most kids are away on holiday.”

The series allowed for some very tight and competitive matches, Cleland said.

Jayden Muir, of Invercargill, won the boys open section and Anna O’Conner, of Makarewa, won the girls open division.

Cleland said tournament controller Jo Lawton did an amazing job organising the series for the club.

“She’s been great. It’s a great squash community we’ve got.”

Two events in the series were played in Invercargill and Taieri earlier this year.

The final event will take place in Cromwell from August 31 to September 1.