Teenager looks to world champs title

21:43, Jul 29 2013

The world junior girls' squash championships is in the sights of Invercargill's Emily Flett.

She will get the opportunity to impress national selectors at the New Zealand junior championships in Napier in October. The four-member New Zealand girls' team for the world junior championships will be named in December.

Canterbury district squash coach Michael Allred is helping Flett, 16, train for the Napier event.

Allred is a coaching officer for Squash Southland and contracted to Squash New Zealand to coach the national boys' team for the junior world championships.

If selected for the New Zealand team, Flett would be in a series of training camps for 18 months before heading to the world championships in 2015. The hosting country had yet to be confirmed, Allred said.

He said Flett was in the top eight chasing a place in the team.


"We're gearing her up for it now, she's a really good chance," Allred said. He is impressed by the way she "attacks the ball and attacks the volley".

Her swing and movement on the court will be tweaked a little.

Squash New Zealand has made the James Hargest student an ambassador to help promote the Year of the Youth Squash.

Flett, who is coached by her father Simon, created history last month becoming the youngest to win the Southland women's open title. She beat Debbie Ritchie, 30, in the final.

"That was quite an achievement," Simon Flett said.

Emily Flett, among 20 Southlanders competing, won the under-17 girls' division at the South Island age group championships in Oamaru this month.

The rising star then packed her bags for the North Island junior championships in Auckland. She finished sixth after progressing to the quarterfinals.

Flett will play in the Southland junior championships at Squash City in Invercargill this weekend. She won at the championships last year.

Next month she will be looking for more success at the Otago junior championships in Dunedin after winning last year.

She has been Squash City's junior champion for the past two years.

"She's doing really well and the club's been very good to her," Simon Flett said.

"She'd love to do it [play squash] for an occupation but there's a lot of hard work to go before that happens."

The Southland Times