Seventeen years old, Cromwell College student Brooke Cornish-Madden has had a squash racket in her hand for as long as she can remember.
Brooke remembers getting training from her grandad when she was three years of age.
“I have the video evidence!”, she says.
In fact, her whole family, on both sides, are heavily into the game – grandparents, Mum and Dad, uncles and aunts and siblings.
Born in Invercargill, Brooke moved to Ashburton when she was 13-years old, and on to Cromwell a year ago. She follows in the footsteps of her grandfather, Dave Madden, and her father, Shaun, who represented New Zealand internationally.
Brother Caleb, who also lives in Cromwell, has won the South Island title, and Brooke herself has won the South Island and the North Island championships at her age levels in the past.
Brooke has been an asset to the local squash club in her year in Cromwell, as she loves coaching. She won the senior squash competition in Cromwell, and is full of praise for the opportunities she gets to further her squash ambitions in the local club.
Squash has grown as a sport in New Zealand in the last year, despite covid restrictions, and Sport New Zealand has increased its high performance funding to squash, to assist the sport and its players to reach higher levels in New Zealand and around the world.
This is a reflection of the great recent performances by Joelle King and Paul Coll. For Brooke, it is all optimism for her squash career.
Her options for the future all involve squash – she would like to be a professional coach, but her real ambition is be world number 1 – another Susan Devoy.
Asked who she’d name as her squash idols, and Brooke has no hesitation – her brother Caleb and her Dad.