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Kids' racket inspires win

Michelle May with children Ethan and Chelsea, after returning from Hobart where she won the Australian Masters Squash Championship.
Michelle May with children Ethan and Chelsea, after returning from Hobart where she won the Australian Masters Squash Championship. Scottie Simmonds

CORAL Cove mum Michelle May had the chants of her own personal pint-sized cheer squad ringing in her ears as she claimed victory in the Australian Masters Championships.

Down 2-0 in the 35-39 age final against No.1 seed Helen Rackham, May said the cheers of her children, Ethan, 5, and Chelsea, 7, helped her claw her way to victory.

“I heard them yelling out from the court and I thought right, ‘I've got this',” she said.

“It was a big boost to have the family there and I think it played a big role in my success.”

May beat Rackham in five, winning 3-2, impressing Australian selectors and gaining a nomination for the national team to compete at the Trans-Tasman Squash Test in New Zealand next year.

Her husband, Steven, also competed in the Hobart event, placing sixth in the 35-39 age category.

May first picked up a racquet at 12 years of age, but did not begin playing competitively until she was taken under the wing of coach Jim Mobbs four years ago.

The mother-of-two said the win proved time-poor parents could achieve great things with a little bit of willpower, patience and hard work.

“I've always wanted to play competitvely, but for one reason or another I came to it later in life,” she said.

“It was a real fight to get there in the end and having my family watching on made it pretty special.”

Ethan and Chelsea have a newfound passion for the sport after seeing their mother triumph. They have been honing their skills with a child-sized racquet and balloons through the halls of their parents' home.

“Ethan's technique and strength are really coming along,” May said.

“He has a habit of popping the balloons, which originally gave me a bit of a fright, but I'm getting used to it.”