Charlee gets a national call up

Charlee Neilson with coach Liam McDonald at Te Awamutu Squash Club. Photo: Jeremy Smith

Te Awamutu College’s Charlee Neilson has been named in the New Zealand squash team for the Trans-Tasman junior team championships.

The Te Awamutu Squash Club was also named club of the year at Squash Waikato’s annual awards in Hamilton on Saturday.

The Trans-Tasman championships will be played at the Devoy Squash and Fitness Centre in Tauranga next month.

There are six age categories for boys and girls at U19, U17 and U15 level and each team comprises 18 players.

Neilson, a Year 10 student at the Te Awamutu College, is an under-15 player who is graded C1.

The New Zealand team will also feature at the Oceania Junior Championship after the Trans-Tasman event.

New Zealand won five straight Trans-Tasman series before losing to Australia last year.

Neilson was second in the U15 girls’ category at September’s nationals junior age group champs in Lower Hutt.

She started playing squash about four years ago after her family – dad Corey, mum Tina and older brother Carter – paid a visit to the Te Awamutu Squash Club.

Neilson’s coach Liam McDonald, who has been working with her for about 18 months, said she had a lot of natural talent and ability “and it has been amazing watching her pretty rapid rise through the ranks”.

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