Our young Athlete Ambassador, Amelia Henley, keeps us up-to-date with how she is getting on over at Harvard University, and the start of the Ivy league matches.
“After a relaxing Christmas break, the busy schedule started again as soon as I arrived back in Boston on January 8th. We had three days of intensive training with two squash sessions a day before we set off to Philadelphia to play our first match at Drexel. Our team played really well against the up and coming Drexel squash team and won 10-0. We used this as mental preparation for the arguably toughest Ivy League matches of the season against Penn University and Princeton. Although Harvard managed to win 7-2 against Penn, the matches were a lot closer than the score suggests. Every match was long and hard fought with many 3-2’s, including my match (playing at number 4) against an Indian girl, Anaka Alankamony. I was happy with my performance especially as the match progressed and I gained more confidence in playing my game. We then travelled to play Princeton the next day and won 8-1. I won my match 3-0 (at number 3) against a Canadian girl called Alexandra Toth. I was pleased with how I executed my game plan and maintained concentration as my opponent was strong and I knew she could dominate if given the opportunity.
After the two tough matches, the Harvard team flew to California for 3 days training before our match with Stanford on Thursday (January 19th). Expecting to escape the cold Boston weather and experience some warm typical Californian weather, we were disappointed to discover that we had brought the English rain with us. Nonetheless, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in California before the match on Thursday, managing to fit in 2 hours of training every day as well as exploring Facebook headquarters, San Francisco and Stanford University. By Thursday we were fully refreshed and ready for the last push of the trip against Stanford University. Even though the expectations were on us, we knew that they had some very strong athletic players that would put up a good challenge. I was playing at number 4 and won 3-0 against an American girl called Sarah Bell. The final score was 9-0.
Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable and successful trip. We are happy to be able to start the season on a strong note and can’t wait to keep building on this momentum. Harvard’s next matches are against Columbia (Feb 4th), Cornell (Feb 5th), Trinity (Feb 8th) and Brown (Feb 10th).”
Over the last twenty years, £198,554 has been awarded to individuals and organisations across Kent.