Apr 10, 2017
Mitchell Kempton is about to serve up some international level squash and, with local sponsor Ricoh Southland behind him, he’s looking ahead to a huge year.
Bagging horse manure might be an interesting way of cross training, but for Mitchell Kempton it’s all part of supporting his up and coming squash career.
The talented 17-year-old recently earned selection in the New Zealand U23 squad, and has now been named in the Trans-Tasman test team to take on Australia mid April.
In his sixth season of squash, this will be Kempton’s first time in the black shirt – and he can’t wait.
“Once I get the top it will feel a bit more real, but I’m pretty happy with where my squash is at and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“Last year was really a break-through year for me, this year I need to try to push on and take it even further.”
“I feel like I’m getting better and better and now, getting to mix it up with some of the top players, it’s just going to be great.”
Kempton’s good form is no coincidence – it’s down to a lot of hard work and commitment.
In between school work and other commitments, he trains up to 15 hours a week, flies to Wellington once a month to work with High Performance Coach Nick Mita, and is about to head to Auckland for international play. In June this year Mitchell will head to Malaysia to contest the Malaysian Junior Open and take part in some training with their national junior team.
All of this travel can add up. Kempton has applied for funding from various sources, bags and sells horse manure as a fundraising initiative, and now, is stoked that Ricoh South has come on board to support him as a key sponsor.
“I went and saw Reece (McDonald, Managing Director), talked through what I was doing, to see if he was interested in sponsoring me, and he just said “yep, absolutely.”
“I really appreciate their support, it really makes a difference. They’ve supported me in the past as well, so to know they’re still there to support me, it’s great.”
McDonald said Ricoh South was proud to put his support behind Kempton.
“Mitchell is not only a talented young squash player, but he has a great work ethic too, and that’s something we really value here at Ricoh,” he said.
“We’re really excited about his year ahead and will be watching his progress with a very keen interest.”