Squash New Zealand has announced that Jonathan Kemp has been appointed National Performance Coach.
Kemp, a former professional squash player and highly respected coach, brings a wealth of experience to the role and is set to play a crucial role in developing the next generation of elite squash players in New Zealand.
Originally from the UK, Kemp enjoyed a successful career as a professional squash player, reaching a career-high ranking of World No. 20. Since retiring from competitive play in 2014 Kemp has established himself as one of the leading coaches in the sport, having worked with a number of top players on the PSA World Tour.
In his new role as National Performance Coach, Kemp will be responsible for leading the development of New Zealand’s top squash players and working closely with Squash New Zealand High-Performance manager Shelley Kitchen to create a pathway for players to progress from grassroots to elite level.
“Squash has always been a huge part of my life, and I’m excited to be able to share my experience and knowledge with the next generation of players,” said Kemp.
“There’s a huge amount of talent in New Zealand, and I’m really looking forward to working with the team to develop our current athletes as well as our next generation.”
Kemp is married to retired former New Zealand No. 1 squash athlete Jaclyn Kemp (nee Hawkes) who won gold at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. The pair have three children together and Kemp says the family is thrilled to be moving to New Zealand.
“I love coaching and developing players and we obviously have a very strong connection to New Zealand so I jumped at this opportunity. The whole family is really excited.”
Squash New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Dowson says Kemp’s extensive experience and expertise will be invaluable in driving the success of New Zealand squash on the international stage.
“We’re thrilled to have Jonathan on board as our National Performance Coach,” said Dowson.
“His experience as a player and coach at the highest level will be a huge asset to us as we continue to grow squash in New Zealand and prepare our elite athletes for the next level of competition.”
Kemp’s appointment comes at an exciting time for squash in New Zealand, with the sport continuing to grow in popularity and success on the international stage.
Kemp will begin in the role in late June.