When the young lady came on court today, I noticed how good she looked, lovely pink while Nike outfit, with matching shoes, which I never saw on a player in an official competition I think. But sponsors nowhere on sight.
As we were chatting at the end of the match, I was really touched by the story of this young player, 26, who went up to 12 in the world but is now, thanks to a few consecutive injuries since 2017, down to 28.
She moved back to Wales in August, and says she is truly delighted with her decision. Since 2017, her promising career was hindered with back injuries, tendonitis, you name it she had. And she never felt comfortable with the constraints of funding, so she left the English system of her own accord, in April 2019.
Since then, she is part training, part coaching at her parents’ club to make ends meet. And as she doesn’t have a squash gear sponsor anymore – she felt that her sponsor might let her go because of her lack of results – she bought her own pair of shoes, a first for her in her career!
“I’m so happy I moved to Wales, I used the lockdown to find a nice balance between training and coaching. I work so much better, I have a better physio, a better fitness coach, I have now insoles that help me stay injury free.
As for my squash gear, because I was a student, I had a card that got me some discounted outfits, I bought Nike because I like what they do a lot! And I bought that pair of shoes, 60 pounds.
Well, I was born in England, but I lived all my life in Wales, and I wish they would let me play under the Union Jack Flag, it would make so much sense to me.
And actually, it was nice also to have a session with David Evans a few weeks ago, it was nice to see somebody having your back, even if you don’t get the win.”
This is the reality of a squash player’s life. Had she won her first round against SJ, she would have been paid for all her expenses, but that loss means she is out of pocket.
“Not that I think about it,” she smiles, “but it would have been so nice to get a reward for all the time, energy, work produced.”
So, Emily, one of the hardest working players out there, who had a bit of a bad luck with injury, could do with a sponsor. “Qu’on se le dise”… pass the word.