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REPORT BY LEE HORTON

LAUREN SELBY, one of England’s brightest and most innovative squash coaches, has been put in charge of Norway’s national squash programme.

The 32-year-old former professional tour player from Essex will spearhead a two-pronged project that aims to re-shape Norwegian squash from top to bottom. Lauren will head the development of senior players in the country and lead a new team of UK coaches whose brief is to unearth fresh, young talent and run the junior development programme. She also becomes the first female coach anywhere in the world to be put in charge a national programme for both men and women,

Lauren, the former World ranked number 34 player, UK mixed doubles and singles national racketball No.1, will begin her new role on January 1st 2017.

She said today: “This is an unbelievably exciting challenge but one that will demand hard work, commitment and stamina from everyone involved. The Norwegian Squash Federation has a firm vision of how they want to develop the game of squash and there is no doubt in my mind that we will achieve those goals. We will be working closely with the current crop of senior players as well as emerging juniors.”

Lauren’s success as a coach in the UK made her an obvious target for the NSQ Federation whose brief is to expand the performance programme and compete at European and world level again and increase participation.

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HIT: Lauren Selby (centre) with a group of Essex junior players

For the past two years, the former England Squash regional coach, who became England’s youngest every female Level 3 coach at the age of 17, has been head of the hugely successful Off The Wall Squash Academy in Colchester. In one of the most exciting squash development programmes seen in the UK, the Academy has seen participation go through the roof alongside a massive spike in performance results with a record number of players now nationally ranked.

That blueprint for success will be rolled out throughout Norway’s 36 registered squash clubs which will now come under the guidance of the Off The Wall team, which brings with it a wealth of coaching talent including Lauren’s father, Paul Selby (Level 4), Matt McFahn (Level 4) and Emily Ison (Level 2).

Lauren’s brother, current PSA world ranked number 18 Daryl Selby and former top 10 player, will also attend national squad training sessions adding to the level of experience and expertise.

A spokesman for the Norway Squash Federation, said :” We are really looking forward to her starting in the New Year working with Lauren. We have been very impressed with her work especially the results she has producing with female players.”

Lauren will continue her OTWS programme in Colchester as well as her Essex Junior Squash commitments.