Squash New Zealand Poipātū Aotearoa30 Jun 2023
Squash New Zealand has rebranded and changed its name as it progresses on a bicultural journey of inclusivity.
The sporting organisation has incorporated te reo Maori into its title and will now be known as Squash New Zealand Poipatu Aotearoa.
Poipatu is the Maori translation of squash.
Squash New Zealand Poipatu Aotearoa Chief Executive Martin Dowson says the name change follows extensive consultation as the organisation looks to build on its inclusivity.
“We know that the multicultural nature of Squash in New Zealand is a big part of what makes squash in our nation so special and different to other countries,” said CEO Martin Dowson.
“This is one small step in a journey of many and it’s one we’re really proud to be making.”
The move also acknowledges that many of New Zealand’s top players, both present and legacy, are Maori. Leilani Joyce, Glen Wilson, Shelley Kitchen, Tamsyn Leevey and Joelle King to name just a few have been some of the best players in New Zealand and the world. At a grassroots level squash also enjoys strong Maori participation.
“Squash is a game for everyone,” added Dowson. “And this move really recognises the huge influence that Maori have had, and continue to have, on squash in New Zealand.”
One of the parties involved in the consultation was Maori Squash.
“We’re really pleased with this name change putting te reo Maori at the forefront of the brand,” said Maori Squash Chair Tamsyn Leevey.
“It’s great to see the squash leading in this space as an inclusive and diverse sport.”
Eight-time Commonwealth Games medal winner Joelle King (Ngati Porou) echoed Leevey.
“I think it’s great that squash is incorporating Maori into its title,” said King.
“I’m a proud Maori athlete and our culture is part of what sets us apart from the rest of the world so it’s great to see that at the forefront of the sport in New Zealand.”
The branding aligns with key purpose of Squash New Zealand Poipatu Aotearoa to enhance the wellbeing of the community and assist with the vibrancy and support of clubs nationwide.