Southland squash player Mitchell Kempton prepares for world event
Talented Southland squash player Mitchell Kempton says his selection to compete at the World Junior Championships is all is a 'surreal feeling'.
Kempton's spot in the New Zealand team to compete at the world event in Tauranga in July was confirmed on Friday morning.
Two junior women and six junior men will represent New Zealand at the World Junior Championships.
The 17-year-old made his debut in a New Zealand team this year competing for the Trans-Tasman junior test series team.
Kempton has made strong improvements in his match play and will now look to make a mark on the world stage in Tauranga.
It is believed he will be the first Southlander since Shaun Madden to line up at the World Junior Championships.
Madden played in junior world championships and in a test series against Australia in 1994 and 1996.
Kempton was excited by the chance to test himself on the world stage.
"A few years back I wouldn't have thought this would happen, it was just a dream.
"It is pretty surreal and it hasn't really sunk in yet."
He felt his rise in form, and in turn the national selection, was down to plenty of training and also the tutelage of his Wellington-based coach Nick Mita.
Kempton has a busy period of preparation planned as he now builds towards the World Junior Championships.
It will include lining up in the New Zealand Southern PSA Open Squash Invercargill.
He will also head to Malaysia to play in the Malaysian Junior Open.
The New Zealand junior women's team for the Junior World Championships is: Kaitlyn Watts, Anna Hughes, Anika Jackson, and Camden Te Kani-McQueen.
The reserve for the team is Nadia Hubbard, who will also compete in the Individual event, along with Rhiarne Taiapa, who is sixth player for the Individual event.
The junior men competing in the Individual event are: Finn Trimble, Matthew Lucente, Gabe Yam, Lwamba Chileshe, Quinn Udy, and Kempton.