Southland Squash Player Wins Open Title For Fourth Consecutive Time
Southland squash player Mitchell Kempton (17) won the Southland Junior Open title yesterday (May 13), for the fourth consecutive year and will find out next week if will be chosen to represent New Zealand at the World Junior Squash Championships to be held in Tauranga in July.
Mitchell, one of two South Island players selected for the New Zealand Junior wider-squad of 12 in November last year, and has been training monthly with the squad in Auckland at four-day camps in an attempt to make the six selected for the U19 NZ team for the Worlds.
The Southland Boys’ High School Year 13 student and Makarewa Squash Club member, has been training at the recently established high-performance Mike Piper Training Centre at the Velodrome in Invercargill and said it was “awesome” to be training among elite athletes from the Southland Sharks basketball; Southern Steel netball; Southland Stags rugby team members and cyclists.
“I do weights and cardio, strength training and conditioning – it’s all part of it and seeing them [other athletes] helps to keep you motivated, because you see them training as well,” he said.
Mitchell currently trains about 10 hours a week – on top of school and other commitments.
He has recently attended three compulsory squad tournaments, and travels to have training sessions with his Wellington-based and New Zealand squash coach Nick Mita, and also has training sessions with Southland-based coach Phil Arnold and will join the Squash Southland High-Performance Squad this term.
Mitchell said he couldn’t continue at the level he is without the help of his coaches and is grateful for their valuable input.
During the Bay of Plenty Open in Rotorua last week, he was seeded 10th and finished in the top 6, a result he was rapt with.
Next month, before the World Junior Championships in Tauranga in July, Mitchell heads to Malaysia to compete in the Malaysian Junior Open Tournament, along with Nick Mita.
Mitchell said he was grateful for the on-going support of local businesses and individuals, and members of the squash community that have helped him achieve in the sport.