Achievements to date
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.
Winning the individual European Championships in Prague in March 2015, and then going on to win the team event.
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.
Nicol David, Squash. She was ranked no 1 in the world for 10 years!
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.“
Over the last twenty years, £198,554 has been awarded to individuals and organisations across Kent.