Racquets trio help Oxfordshire finish fourth in Southern Championships

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Three U11 county squash players from Racquets Fitness Centre competed in the Southern Inter-county Under 11 tournaments held last month.

This was a tournament between the top six countries in the southern area of the UK.

Oliver (age 10) and Emily Coulcher-Porter (age 8) and Luke Hayes (age 10) battled bravely at Bluecoat Sports Centre, Horsham in the Oxfordshire U 11 mixed team against five other counties.

Two of the teams, Sussex and Kent, are ranked amongst the highest in GB.

Oxfordshire was the only team to provide a mixed team. This meant that 8-year-old Emily had to compete against some of the top 20 GB ranked U11 boys.

“It was tough,” she said. “I loved the challenge.” Emily managed to win two of her matches and fought with tenacity in her others.

Luke Hayes, heavy with cold, played competitively against his tough opponents. His ability to keep calm yet deliver hard hitting balls was astounding.

Oliver Coulcher-Porter kept the team afloat in the difficult matches with some inspiring squash. He beat two players ranked above him convincingly, causing an uproar amongst the other rivals.

One was ranked nine in GB and the other ranked 14. Oliver said: “This bodes well for the English Open next month where I want to do even better!”

Oxfordshire proudly came home with medals for fourth place.

Racquets coach Sue Martin-Downhill said: “Luke, Emily and Oliver are going from strength to strength with every tournament they play in.

“We now also have some U13s who have started training with the Oxfordshire squads. Oliver Cartwright and James Portsmouth are training hard every day to be good enough to get into the U13s squad over the course of the next six months.”

If you or your child would like to try squash for the first time, go down to Racquets and they’ll work out the best session for you.