The recipients of our grants are all dedicated to either participating in sport at a high level or to providing opportunities for young people to participate in sport.

2015 Georgina Kennedy
Georgina Kennedy

Sport

Squash

Achievements to date

  • Ranked no 1 in England every age-group from U13
  • Selected to represent England in 3 U19 World Championships
  • Selected to represent England in 3 U19 European Championships
  • Winner of 8 national titles (4 English and 4 British Championships)
  • 2016 - Achieved 3rd place in the British Junior Open in January 2016
  • 2015 - Winner of U19 European Junior Championship in Prague

I started playing squash, almost by accident, when I was 9 years old. At that time I competed in a number of different sports but I soon realised that I wanted to take squash more seriously and so gave up the other sports. I began competing in local tournaments and progressed quickly through the rankings, being fortunate enough to represent England in most age-groups. I am now 18 and left school in June 2015. I will be going to study at Harvard University in August 2016 and will be a member of their squash team. In the meantime, I am using this gap year to play on the professional squash circuit and hope to be able to get into the world top 50 before I leave for America.

Most memorable sporting achievement to date

Winning the individual European Championships in Prague in March 2015, and then going on to win the team event.

Biggest sporting disappointment to date

I was selected to represent England at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa in August 2015. Although I initially thought I could attend, it turned out that the dates conflicted with the entrance exams for Harvard University and thus I had to pull-out. This was terribly disappointing as it would have been an amazing experience to represent my country at an event such as this.

Most respected sportsperson

Nicol David, Squash. She was ranked no 1 in the world for 10 years!

Ritual before sporting competition

I always do my warm-up before a match in exactly the same way, with all the exercise in the same order.

After leaving school in June 2015, I decided to take a year off with the joint objectives of applying to go to University in America and also spending a year playing squash professionally to see if this is something that I would consider doing after I graduate. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of a £1,000 award from the Kent Trust for Youth Sport and this was instrumental in enabling me to do a number of overseas tournaments that I would otherwise have been unable to do. During the year, I played tournaments in Winnipeg, Delaware, Paris, Prague, Dublin and Jersey, as well as a number of UK tournaments. When I was not playing in tournaments I followed a rigorous training routine involving at least two, and often three, fitness and/or court sessions each day. I had one to one coaching three times a week and played on a weekly basis for a number of local teams. I also played in the professional league (PSL) for the Winchester team.

The year was tough but I greatly enjoyed it and I saw my World Senior Ranking rise from 93 to 70 – an achievement that I am very proud of. Although I had some limited funding from England Squash, the costs of training and competing professionally are very high and without the KTYS money I would have done fewer tournaments and thus my ranking would have been lower. Although I enjoyed the year, and would certainly consider pursuing a professional squash career in the future, I was delighted to be offered a place to study at Harvard and to be a member of their women’s squash team. I have just started my second term here and, although it is very hard work, I am enjoying the squash, the study and the lifestyle immensely!

I am extremely grateful for the the opportunities that the funding from KTYS has afforded me on my journey so far.

Our partners

  • Firmin
  • Kent County Council
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Did you know

Since 2008, £142,469 has been awarded to individuals and organisations.

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