Central beat Waikato to take the newly donated Leevey Shield



The annual Senior Squash rep clash between the Central & Waikato districts took place on Saturday 27th April  at the Kawaroa Park Club in New Plymouth.  The teams are made up of 6 men and 6 women with players having two matches during the day.  After the morning round, Central had a 8 – 4 lead with some solid play from its team members.  In these clashes the five set matches become crucial to get that 1 point for the team and it was the afternoon round that saw this happen.  Central won three of them, some by only just a point or two, and luckily this helped them to a 6 all tie for the afternoon round, therefore handing the win to Central 14 -10 overall. 

Into its 5th year now where Waikato won the first three and Central grabbed it last year for the first time, the 2019 clash however had extra special meaning to it.  A shield was donated by the very popular squash family, the Leeveys who have strong ties to both districts.  Tamsyn Leevey  is a household name in NZ Squash, as she has represented NZ from Juniors through to the Senior ranks, won many a National title and been a medallist at Commonwealth Games and World Champs.   

Squash Centrals team captains Kent Darlington & Tamsyn Leevey with the spoils of the 2019 Leevey Shield after defeating Waikato.jpeg

Born and bred in the Waikato town of Taumarunui her talent was crafted from an early age as she used to tag along with her parents Ray & Helen, who joined the Taumarunui Squash Club in the early 1980's.  The whole family played squash, along with being Club Captains, Ray and Helen use to coach the Juniors at the club and also the High School squash team.  Both Tamsyn's brothers were Junior Club champions and Jason (her brother) along with Ray were both Mens Club Champions.  Ray and Helen are also life members of the Taumarunui Club.  Jason was the first Waikato Rep in the family playing in the Waikato Junior Team while Tamsyn played for the Waikato Junior Team from the age of 13 through to 18 , all this time Ray and Helen were the Coach/Manager of the Waikato girls and boys team.  Tamsyn also represented Waikato in the Senior Womens Team while Ray represented Waikato in Masters.  

Ray coached Tamsyn from when she first started playing through to when she was A grade which she made at the young age of 15.  She then made the NZ junior Girls Team in 1996 where she went to Sydney for Junior World teams, the team came 3rd.  Playing squash in Taumarunui and for Waikato was a huge part of the family’s life.  Ray and Helen then moved to Wainuiomata and Tamsyn shifted to Australia and had a break from the sport for 4 years, in this time she had her first child Niwa.  She then came back to NZ and got back into squash with the goal of making the Commonwealth Games team in 2006.  Again her parents stepped in to help her achieve the goal, Ray helped train her, while Helen was on babysitting duties.  Along that journey Tamsyn represented NZ for the Senior Womens team that finished 3rd twice at the World Teams Champs and she also won the NZ Nationals in 2004 upsetting the top seed Shelley Kitchen.   

After making the NZ team for the Commonwealth Games in 2006 in Melbourne, Tamsyn teamed up with Kitchen to win a silver medal in the Womens doubles at those games.  That same year they went one better and claimed Gold at the Worlds Doubles.  In 2010 she also attended another Commonwealth Games in doubles but got knocked out in the quarters.  Her best world ranking was during her professional carreer was No 24 in May of 2005.  Tamsyn moved to New Plymouth four years ago and got involved in the Subway Franchise business with her brother.  She is heavily involved now with the Kawaroa Park Squash Club and has represented Squash Central in a number of its annual One Day Rep fixtures against Eastern, Wellington & Waikato districts.  She was also a part of the Central Senior Women’s team that won their only 2nd ever National teams title in 2016.   Now there is another chapter starting as far as rep honours go for the family with Tamsyn’s 2nd son, young Cassius, already representing Central in one of this year’s Junior challenges in the U13 ranks.

Results of Central v Waikato (Central Players):


(1) Kent Darlington (WG)

Beat Courtney Coetzee 16/14, 11/6, 11/6

Lost to Ben Calvert 11/7, 8/11, 12/14, 11/6, 13/11

(2) Allan Bailey (PN)

Lost to Ben Calvert 11/8, 5/11, 11/6, 11/3

Beat Courtney Coetzee 11/8, 8/11, 11/3, 11/13, 11/9

(3) Nick Stretton (KP)

Beat Scott Darroch 11/6, 11/8, 11/9

Beat Jonathon Chesseman 11/7, 11/5, 10/12, 6/11, 11/8

(4) Jordan Bell (PN)

Lost to Jonathon Chesseman 9/11, 11/13, 11/6, 11/9, 11/6

Lost to Scott Darroch 11/6, 11/3, 11/7

(5) Rory Mortleman (KP)

Beat Brendon Hunt 8/11, 11/4, 11/2, 11/5

Beat Stuart Marton 11/8, 11/8, 7/11, 12/10 

(6) Hamish White (KP)

Beat Stuart Marton 11/8, 11/4, 8/11, 11/6

Beat Brendon Hunt 8/11, 11/4, 11/3, 11/6



(1) Tamsyn Leevey (KP)

Beat Katie Laird 11/1, 11/2, 11/1

Beat Sarah Harrison 11/2, 11/6, 11/3 

(2) Chelsea Aims (KP)

Beat Sarah Harrison 11/7, 11/9, 12/10 

Lost to Katie Laird 11/8, 11/6, 11/8  

(3) Fiona Gifford-Moore (KP)

Beat Aleisha Coombes 6/11, 11/3, 11/4, 11/7

Lost to Amber Helm 11/7, 11/6, 11/5 

(4) Tina Steedman (OK)

Lost to Amber Helm 9/11, 11/7, 2/4 default injured

Lost to Aleisha Coombes by default injury 

(5) Jacinta Harrison (KP)

Beat Courtney Garrick 11/8, 11/7, 11/6

Lost to Rodica Barton-Wellington 11/9, 11/7, 12/10 

(6) Michelle Habib (KP)

Lost to Rodica Barton-Wellington 12/10, 11/8, 11/8

Beat Courtney Garrick 5/11, 11/5, 11/2, 6/11, 11/8

Central won 14 matches to 10