St John’s Anglican College year 9 student and squash star Sarbani Maitra recently competed at four major squash tournaments – three of them overseas – in late 2022 and early 2023 against national and international competitors.
From January 4 – January 8, Sarbani represented Australia at the world’s most prestigious junior squash tournament, the British Junior Open 2023 at Birmingham.
She finished 22nd out of 68 players in her division, with the second-highest score of all the female Australian athletes in her division.
“Sporting the Aussie colours at a huge international event is a feeling I can’t describe,” Sarbani said.
“It felt so rewarding to finally be representing Australia in international competitions after so long.”
Sarbani said playing at the British Junior Open 2023 Tournament was a huge step up in her squash career.
“I am pretty proud of how far I have come in these competitions, but I definitely have a lot to work on. The competition in Europe is fierce, so I guess that just gives me extra motivation to work hard,” she said.
Prior to the British Junior Open event, Sarbani came first place at the Oceania 2022 tournament on December 17-19 at Thornleigh Squash Centre in Sydney. She played against seven Asia-Pacific countries and won every match in the lead up to the finals.
On December 20-21 she competed at the Trans Tasman 2022 challenge against New Zealand, where she remained undefeated in all matches and came first place in her division.
She then travelled to Scotland for the Scottish Junior Open 2022 competition held in Edinburgh on December 28-30 and came third place.
In 2023 Sarbani will participate in several tournaments across Australia, including the Australian Junior Open, Australian Junior Championships, Oceania Junior Championships, and the Queensland Junior Championships.
“I am aiming to make it into the World Junior Championships in the coming years, and represent Australia in the World Junior Teams event as well,” she said.
By Jamie Furness