A four-year campaign by St. John’s College to make the top seven at the Secondary Schools Squash Nationals, has become a reality.
This year Tauranga hosted the Secondary Schools’ Squash Nationals for the third time. St. John’s College squash team, which was led by Captain Isaac Pilcher, and brothers; Jack and Josh Cornforth, and Jonty and Harry Unwin, beat Christchurch Boys’ High School to come in 7th place.
Isaac says that coming seventh out of 32 teams at the Secondary Schools Squash Nationals was a “massive achievement”.
“This has certainly been “a testament to the continuous hard work the boys have put in over the years”.
Isaac, a Year 13 student at St John’s College, says he couldn't be prouder of everyone.
“Personally, I couldn't have been happier with the result. With this being my final year at St John’s College, this is something I owe to the boys in the team.”
Isaac’s sentiments have been supported by St. John’s College principal, Rob Ferreira, who acknowledged that the school was “proud of the commitment and dedication the squash boys have shown to their sport”.
“They are an example of if you work hard, you can achieve success. They have done well to raise the profile of squash at St. John’s College,” he says.
Isaac started playing squash six years ago, after his dad, who was playing socially out of Hawke’s Bay Squash Rackets Club in Onekawa at the time, introduced him to the game and got him involved in the junior coaching nights.
Isaac says he developed an immediate love for the game and “has been going hard at it ever since”.
Team player and Head Boy Jonty Unwin says the first year was a record and development year. Squash is like one big community, so everyone kind of knows each other”.
The vision for a long-term squash campaign was the brainchild of St. John’s College teacher, Mrs Russell.
Isaac says that none of the success of the campaign would have been possible without her vision, together with the support and contribution of John Cornforth, the coach, and Sandra Unwin, the manager.