New Zealand Champion member of Lyons Park Club
This squash game image is of a New Zealand champion who has been selected to represent New Zealand at the Trans-Tasman Test series for Squash in Adelaide, Australia next week. Alan Westrupp has been playing squash since he was 8 years old and to see him move round the court playing James Blackmore last Saturday evening was to enjoy thrilling and fast paced youthful speed, agility and stamina.
To be an A grade player is, in itself, the result of years of intense competitive squash, but to be chosen from all the A grade players in his age group to represent New Zealand is a great achievement for Alan and excellent for the Club and for Mercury Bay. Alan will be the only New Zealand representative in his category in Adelaide. It is the 25th contest between the two countries for the Vic Belsham Cup. At the Club championship presentations on Saturday, Alan thanked his club and his family for their support and for the help to make the trip. “I want to do Mercury Bay and New Zealand proud,” said Alan.
Squash is not the game that attracts funding and sponsorship, though the Whitianga Club courts at Lyon Park are well sponsored from local businesses with the colourful signs displayed on the court walls. The Informer is letting readers know this fact in case some out there feel they can assist Alan a little more in this season where flights to Australia are at an all time financial premium.
On Saturday, the Club finals were played out all afternoon into the evening, from Grade level G to Grade B. The B Grade players are at a high level of skill and fitness. All ages were represented with many families being a part of the Whitianga Club. Alan’s enthusiasm for Squash has spread to his partner and his three children, all enjoying competition at the club. Jacob Westrupp, the youngest, came first in the Junior Boys section. The club also has a very strong Business House team section of 51 players with 45 of those actively playing and their championship will be held on Saturday, 29 October, with a ‘horror’ theme added (courtesy of Halloween) to what will already be a very colourful and competitive evening. Jody Costello, who co-ordinates the business house activities and who is the leader of the Guthrie Bowron team, smiles when she says, “ All levels are welcome from very beginners, including those who may not have engaged in regular exercise for a time.” Jody won the Women’s Club Championship and is a grade B player. She explained on receiving the trophy, “ I have come back to squash after some years of absence and it’s 28 years since my name has been on the cup. It is a privilege to win again after so long.”
Caption: Alan Westrupp, NZ Champion, plays James Blackmore, top B grade player. (Two photos) Caption: The three key co-ordinators of the Squash Club events, Jennifer Westrupp, Jody Costello and Dawn Thurgood. Caption: Jody with Junior Girls Champion, Charlotte Thurgood