Squash champion 'shocked' to be included in New Year Honours

By Jessica Tyson

Squash champion Joelle King was shocked to find out she had been listed in the New Year 2019 Honours.

“When I got the call it was a bit of shock, but nice to be recognised in this way,” she said.

King, of Ngāti Porou, has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to squash.

She has been a professional squash player since 2004, is currently the top-ranked women’s player in New Zealand and the fourth-ranked women’s player in the world.

“There’s obviously there’s a lot of hard situations you go through, there’s been a lot of downs and a lot of ups too,” she said.

King has won six medals across the New Delhi, Glasgow, and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, including gold for women’s doubles in 2010, bronze in women’s singles in 2014, and gold medals in women’s singles and doubles in 2018.

She won gold medals in the mixed doubles and women’s doubles at both the 2016 and 2017 World Doubles Championships.

“It’s nice when you’re travelling the world by your own country. It’s nice when you come home and see how excited people are to share your experiences good and bad with you. It’s a nice way to end 2018.”

As an ambassador for Squash New Zealand, King has also contributed time to her regional squash association and engaging with young children, clubs and schools.

Her next tournament is the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York.

AWARDS

  • Squash New Zealand’s Chairman’s Award, 2017
  • Waipa Sportswoman of the Year, 2010, 2014
  • Squash New Zealand’s Personality of the Year, 2010, 2013, 2014
  • Senior Māori Sportswoman of the Year, 2010
  • Waikato Sportswoman of the Year, 2010