A fundraising campaign is under way to send a Scotland girls’ team to Melbourne to compete in the WSF World Junior Squash Championships for the first time since 2005.
The parents of five girls who wish to represent Scotland in July’s World Junior Team and World Junior Individual Championships have set a £30,000 target to fund entry fees, accommodation and expenses on what would be “the trip of a lifetime”.
With their national governing body, Scottish Squash, unable to fund their entry, friends and parents of Anna Halliday, 17, Louisa Kaven, 16, Natalie Main, 17, Robyn McAlpine, 16, and Rowan Niven, 17, have joined forces to raise the money themselves.
The bulk of the squad finished fourth in last year’s European Championships and want to continue their progress by testing themselves against the world’s best at Melbourne Sports Centre in five months’ time.
McAlpine, who won the U17 and U19 Scottish national titles last weekend, said: “I want to become a professional squash player and become top 10 in the world. However, for me to achieve that I have to gain more experience and understanding of what it takes to get to that top level.
“Playing in the World Championships would allow me to gain so many learning experiences that would help me to become a better player and I am sure this will apply to everyone on the team.”
Halliday, the Irish Junior Open champion currently ranked sixth in Europe at Under-19 level, said: “Playing for Scotland at the World Junior Championships in Australia would be an honour and an amazing learning experience – but costly.
“Any contribution to support myself and my team-mates to get there would turn our aspirations into reality and hopefully encourage young girls to take up this great sport.”
Main added: “I have been playing squash since the age of three in places as far apart as Pontefract, Poland and Pennsylvania, but all that would be surpassed if I could represent Scotland in Australia in the World Junior Team Championships.”
Maggie Still, Chief Executive of Scottish Squash, added the governing body’s support to the fundraising effort.
She said: “Scottish Squash are fully behind the fundraising drive and are supporting the group in our role as the national governing body. It would be particularly special to have Scotland represented in the junior women’s team event for the first time since 2005.
“While our junior representative focus and investment remains on the European Championships, this opportunity would allow this group of young players to build on last year’s successful European campaign and test themselves at a World level event.”
CLICK HERE to donate to the fundraising effort to send Scotland’s girls to the World Junior Championships