Nine-year-old wins rising squash star award for triumphant year

Mitaire Onoge is England Squash’s Rising Star (Male) for 2023 after a successful season that saw him earn six tournament titles, including the North West Regional Championships.
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At just nine-years-old, Mitaire has established himself as a future star in the game under the coaching of Thomas Fairhurst, Head Coach at the National Squash Centre in Manchester.

Mitaire’s mum, Naomi, reveals Mitaire's excitement at winning the prestigious award. She said: “I did tell him about the nomination at the time and I said to him that just being nominated is an honour. When I then got the news that he won he was just screaming, rolling around on the rug, I can still visualise him now. He was really, really excited.”

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Throughout last year, Mitaire represented the Lancashire County boys under 11 team and was invited to train with the England Squash Aspire programme. He also made it to the final of the British Junior Championships, which his mum believes meant more to him than some of his titles.

Mitaire in action.Mitaire in action.
Mitaire in action.

She explained: “He went in with no expectations at all. We had a conversation about it, and I just said, treat it as any other tournament because obviously there was a lot of hype around it, just go in and be you.

“Getting into the final, I think he was just overwhelmed with the fact that he had done so well. It was good to see at his school afterwards, they were really proud of him at assembly, and they are very supportive.”

Mitaire came across squash at a multi-sports activity club during a holiday club back in the summer of 2021. He came back from the camp one day having tried squash and never looked back. After taking part in more taster sessions, the coach suggested he takes things further by taking part in the beginner programme at the National Squash Centre, which has led to where he is today.

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Naomi believes Mitaire has one clear goal for the future. She said: “To become a professional squash player, 100%. I've seen that goal written in his different journals here, there, and everywhere. On his Christmas list he wants a squash court toy and I had to explain that they don’t make those.”

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