Memorial Trust Fund
Shane O’Dwyer was an exceptionally popular player, coach and administrator whose sudden death in 1985 was a huge shock to the squash community.
He had been ranked among New Zealand’s top six players from 1971-76, reaching a high of No 3 in 1973, the year he represented New Zealand at the world championships in South Africa. He represented New Zealand again at the Hashim Khan Trophy in Pakistan in 1976.
Tall and lean, he established his reputation as a player while at the Henderson club in Auckland. Then he moved to Wellington and entered another phase of his squash career – as the players’ representative on the national association, and as a coach, selector and administrator. He turned professional in 1977 and became a fine coach.
He still played well enough to retain an A grading until his death, at the age of 38, but by then was spending increasing time in various administrative roles.
O’Dwyer was the convener of the national selectors, was the director of the international development group, was about to manage the New Zealand junior men’s team to the world championship in Brisbane, and had been earmarked to become national coaching director.
He died after an attack of shingles caused him to have a heart attack. For a person who never carried an ounce of fat and was renowned for his fitness, it was a tragically premature death.
A Shane O’Dwyer Memorial Trust Fund was set up to keep his name alive and was supported generously by people all around the country.
The fund was used to assist in the publication of Long or Short? The Story of New Zealand Squash, and now the Hall of Fame is administering it to assist New Zealand’s promising juniors.
Each year the boy and girl who win the most improved juniors awards (judged by Squash New Zealand) are invited to apply to the O’Dwyer fund for a grant of up to $1000 to help them develop their potential.
It is hoped this will become part of the Squash New Zealand annual awards.
Shane would have approved of the use of the fund for such purposes and would have been proud to be associated with the New Zealand Squash Hall of Fame.