New Zealand’s first women squash champion, Nancy New, died in Feilding on April 29, after a short illness.
Nancy was a squash pioneer. She was the first dominant New Zealand women’s player, and won four national titles - in 1951, 52, 54 and 55. She spearheaded the first New Zealand women’s team to travel to Australia, in 1954. At her best she was some distance ahead of her contemporaries, and her record would have been even more impressive but for the fact that until 1951 there was no national women's championship.
Nancy remained in excellent health and became widely regarded as the Grand Old Lady of New Zealand Squash. She remained in Manawatu all her life. When she left Palmerston North she settled in Feilding and married Manawatu rugby halfback (1947-50) George New, who survives her. Nancy kept in touch with squash, following it from a distance and was made a life member of Palmerston North Squash Club, which now proudly boasts Court 3 – The Nancy New Court. She was inducted into the New Zealand Squash Hall of Fame in 2010.