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 Māori into its title and will now be known as Squash New Zealand Poipātū Aotearoa.

Poipātū is the Māori translation of squash.

Squash New Zealand Poipātū 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 Māori. 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 Māori participation.

“Squash is a game for everyone,” added Dowson. “And this move really recognises the huge influence that Māori have had, and continue to have, on squash in New Zealand.”

One of the parties involved in the consultation was Māori Squash. 

“We’re really pleased with this name change putting te reo Māori at the forefront of the brand,” said Māori 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 (Ngāti Porou) echoed Leevey.

“I think it’s great that squash is incorporating Māori into its title,” said King.

“I’m a proud Māori 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 Poipātū Aotearoa to enhance the wellbeing of the community and assist with the vibrancy and support of clubs nationwide. 

This article was first published on the Squash New Zealand Poipātū Aotearoa website.