Chinchilla trio smashed Squash State Championships
IN AN amazing display of talent, dedication and skill, Keegan Luckraft, Cameron Rollings, and Nathan Rollings, scored second place alongside their team at the Sate School Squash Championships.
The Chinchilla boys competed as part of the under 15 boys Darling Downs squash team, and battled it out during a four day competition against teams from the Wide Bay region, as well as the Metropolitan areas; North, Northern, and West.
Chinchilla Squash Club president Teneale Luckraft said she is incredibly proud of the way the three boys played, especially the sportsmanship they showed to their opponents.
“Whilst it is fantastic the boys have placed second, it’s their sportsmanship and effort on and off the court that is something they should be proud of,” Mrs Luckraft said.
Nathan, 13, said he had gone from winning tennis tournaments to smashing out wins on the squash courts.
“Squash is good because it’s not as individual or demanding as tennis,” he said.
“I like the team spirit of the game… it’s a whole different sport but also the same - the physical aspects.”
The highlight from the state championships for Nathan was competing against a Met West Brisbane player.
“I played a good game that was a good one to win… a player that’s been coached by professional coaches, so it was a good one to win against,” he said.
Also coming out on top at the local club, Nathan said he’s, “currently in line at the Chinchilla Club, and I have currently won the line, so I will be moved up next season”.
Keegan, 15, said he had a great time competing, and a had few tight matches.
“I had a couple of five-setters, so it was lots of fun,” he said.
“I also managed to come third in my pool so I’m quite happy with that.”
Playing squash for five years, Keegan said he first got involved after watching his parents hit it out on the squash courts.
“I’ve always enjoyed it… it’s always fun when I get to play dad, I can beat dad – but not mum she’s too good for me,” Keegan joked.
“I like that even though it’s an individual sport, it’s still very team based, and teammates are always supportive and cheering you on from the side.”
Currently on line four at the local club, Keegan said he’s determined to get bumped up to line-three next season.
Following in his dad’s footsteps, Cameron, 15, said he’s been playing for squash for five years.
“Previously I was playing tennis but it was an easy transition to squash,” he said.
“The team aspect of the sport is really good. After each game they will tell you what you need to do to improve, and then you can take it back on the courts and hopefully win the match,” he said.
Cameron said it was a welcome challenge to go up against dedicated players who train every day.
“It was also really good to watch some of the best players in the state,” he said.
Currently in line-two, Cameron said he intends to play squash for as long as he can, and in gunning for a line-one spot next season.
“Hopefully someday I can beat dad too,” he said.
Mrs Luckraft said this is the first year the club has run a junior development programme (in conjunction with MPC Kinetic) and all the hard work that has gone into the programme is paying off in dividends.
“All three juniors have worked on their fitness this year, we’ve also focused on building their strengths and playing consistent, tight winning shots,” she said.
Next year is shaping up to be an exciting one for the boys Ms Luckraft said, as Keegan and Cameron will be trying out for the under 19s side, although Nathan has one year left in the under 15s.
At the championships, making up the rest of the under 15 boys teams were two players from Toowoomba, Rohan Siddans and Gilbert Tighe.
During the competition the boys played five games a day which included doubles, mixed doubles, and single matches.
Based in Toowoomba, the competition was originally supposed to run in May although was postponed to September due to COVID-19.