Battle of Brassall takes to the courts
SOME of Queensland's most talented squash juniors, including teenagers from Ipswich, have plenty to play for at Brassall on Sunday.
The boys and girls contesting the latest Southern Region tournament are chasing valuable Australian rankings points.
The bronze-ranked tournament on the Australian Squash Tour is one of several qualifying events for juniors aspiring to play for the 2018 Southern Storm team at the Queensland Junior Championships in Rockhampton in July.
A Southern Region team will be named in May for the state titles.
Southern Region secretary/treasurer Rosemary Lord said events like Sunday's tournament at the Healthworks courts were important for junior development.
"Q Squash Southern Region is on a mission to introduce more youngsters to the sport of squash and with the assistance of a Queensland Sport and Recreation Grant, the current committee is in the process of implementing a strategic plan to meet these goals,'' she said.
"Queensland has the best players in Australia.''
That was highlighted by junior teams from under-13 to under-19 combining to be national champions for the past 14 years.
The next Australian championships are scheduled for Darwin in September after being played in Geelong last year.
Another Southern Region tournament is planned for the Ipswich PCYC in May.
However, that tournament may be in doubt due to two courts about to be refurbished for other PCYC uses.
The Southern Region covers a wide area from the Queensland-NSW border to the Sunshine Coast and inland, excluding Brisbane.
Ipswich players like Lachlan Stieler, ranked fourth in Queensland, Lauren Luck (ranked fifth) and Dylan Palmer (12th) are part of the region.
In the past, the Southern region has produced elite players such as Rachael Grinham and her sister Natalie, Rhonda Thorne, and Robyn Prentice, who went on to represent Queensland and Australia and win world titles.
More recently the region has been represented by Queensland under-19 champion Lachlan Coxsedge, who was selected to represent Australia at the World Junior Championships in New Zealand.
Sunday's tournament starts at 9am with six courts at Brassall expected to be used for matches.
Some free come and try days are planned for Ipswich and Laidley this year.
The latest tournament at Brassall could also assist school students trialling or involved with Met West squash teams this year.