Talented teen rising to top of the squash game
PAIGE Mallet first fell in love with the sport of squash when she was only eight years old.
Her dad was the president of the Moura Squash Club and for as long as she could remember her family and friends had been involved in the sport.
So she thought she would give it a go too.
She started playing at a club level but quickly took up competitive squash through the Queensland Junior Championships.
It was here she would earn the nickname "piggy” due to being the smallest in her team and her love of wearing her hair in two piggy tails.
Mallet, who has always represented her school in the Capricornia school squash team was fortunate enough to be named captain this year.
She was also selected to play at state level and has since been nominated to captain the Queensland School Squash team.
"I was shocked but totally stoked to be named state captain,” Mallet said.
"I never dreamed I would be in the running for selection as I thought it just went to the #1 player in the team and I was #4.
"I am honoured to be named captain as I love to cheer on my team mates and give them encouragement to do the best they can.”
Mallet is now in her final year of high school and has quickly learnt to juggle her part-time job at the Moura newsagent, her hairdressing studies and her latest captaincy.
"My time is finely tuned but playing squash gives me the time I need to relax and refocus,” she said.
"Through squash I have made long life friends from Ingham to Sydney and across to New Zealand.
"It's one of the fittest sports around that can be played anytime.”
However juggling sport with school work is nothing new for Mallet having represented Moura in school squash from Year 8.
"I started out just playing at club level and doing coaching with various club members but then I started to get involved in competitive squash through the Queensland Junior Championships,” Mallet said.
"The more I played, the more eager I became to do better and play the best I could, regardless of the fact that I lived in a small country town and didn't have access to top notch coaches.
"From then on year-in year-out we would always go to Queensland Junior Championships where I went on to become under 13 Qld Jnr champion and when I hit high school I was keen to represent my school in squash which I have every year since.”
"One day I would like to give back to the sport by way of coaching juniors and encouraging them never to give up, no matter what the barriers, just as my parents have shown me.”