East Anglian duo relishing leading Norway’s national team

Lauren Selby (right) and Emily Ison

Lauren Selby (right) and Emily Ison - Credit: Archant

There will be a strong East Anglian influence on Norway’s top squash players when they take to the court in future.

Lauren Selby (left) and Emily Ison

Lauren Selby (left) and Emily Ison - Credit: Archant

That’s because Colchester-based Lauren Selby has been named as the Scandinavian country’s new head coach, and will be assisted by Ipswich’s Emily Ison.

The duo began their roles on January 1 and will work with the country’s elite players.

“This is an unbelievably exciting challenge but one that will demand hard work, commitment and stamina from everyone involved,” said Selby, the former world number 34, who becomes the first-ever female coach to lead both a male and female national programme

“Norway has a few good players but not that many at senior level and the highest-ranked male is around 200th in the world.

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“I always love a challenge and this will be my first national role, so it is a big step for me.”

She added: “I was approached by Norway Squash. One of the guys I see every year at an international tournament broached the subject to me and initially I said ‘No way’.

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“But that was before I got a better understanding of what they wanted.

“Short-term our aim is to try and get Norway’s elite structure more rigid and set.”

As part of a two-pronged approach, Selby will also lead a team of coaches from Colchester-based “Off The Wall Squash”, who will work to unearth fresh, young talent and run the junior development programme.

Selby and Ison will be based mainly in Oslo when in Norway, but will also be required to take trips to other parts of the country such as Bergen, Stavanger and Bodo.

“Myself and Emily get on well and we share the same passion about getting youngsters involved in the game – that is one of our long-term aims,” Selby added.

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

A Norway Squash Federation spokesman, said: “We have been very impressed with her work especially the results she has producing with female players.”

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