Promising Eastern Province teenage squash star Dean Venter will receive the opportunity of a lifetime when he competes in the British Open from January 3-7.
While most youngsters are preparing for the Christmas holiday break, the 14-year-old Grey High pupil is hard at work fine-tuning his game for the junior open under the guidance of mentor Ed Razzano.
One of the country’s rising stars, Venter has regularly been ranked No 1 nationally in his age group and is the current South African U14 No 1.
He showed his potential by beating a number of senior players in the EP Jesters U23 tournament before losing in the final, while he competes comfortably in the EP first league.
He was named Eastern Province’s most promising player at the annual awards function this year and is looking forward to testing himself against some of the world’s best agegroup players.
He knows he will face tough opposition in the U15 division as this prestigious junior event has attracted more than 400 competitors from 30 nations in categories from U11 to U19.
Previous winners of the Drysdale Cup (U19 boys) include current British Open champion Gregory Gaultier, former world No 1 James Willstrop and three-time world champion Nick Matthew.
World Series Finals champion Mohamed El Shorbagy won the trophy three years in a row, from 2008 to 2010.
Under Razzano, Venter has been heavily involved with solo practice sessions and practice matches in preparation for his bid in the U15 draw.