WSF Men’s World Team Championship athletes welcomed with Pōwhiri

Around 100 of the best men’s squash athletes in the world have been welcomed to New Zealand with a pōwhiri at Te Whetū o te Rangi Marae in Tauranga.


The athletes are in New Zealand for the WSF Men’s World Team Championship, to be held in Tauranga from December 11th – 17th.

The Championship features four athletes from 24 national federations, with the draw including eight of the top ten male athletes in the world.

Commonwealth Games Singles & Mixed Doubles Champion Paul Coll headlines the New Zealand team, joined by brothers Temwa and Lwamba Chileshe, as well as young Auckland bolter Elijah Thomas.

Lwamba says he enjoyed sharing the Pōwhiri with his international athlete whānau. 

“It’s great to embrace our awesome culture and it was pretty special to share it with all these athletes from all around the world,” said Chileshe.

Tournament Director Wayne Werder thanked te hapū o Ngā Pōtiki, Ngāti Pūkenga who led the pōwhiri.

“It’s nice to have all these international visitors welcomed appropriately and I’d like to acknowledge and thank Ngāti Pūkenga and te hapū o Ngā Pōtiki for a fantastic pōwhiri,” said Werder.

“We’re really pleased with how the New Zealand Open is going and we’re looking forward to more phenomenal squash as the WSF Men’s World Team Championship gets underway.”

Coverage of the WSF Men’s World Team Championship is available on free on WORLDSQUASH.TV, with action from the Mercury Arena also available on the Olympic ChannelSQUASHTV and Sky Sport NZ (New Zealand only).

Tickets for the 2023 Festival of Squash are on sale with more information available at