Two Maties squash players were part of the South African team that won bronze at the ninth World University Squash Championships, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, earlier this month.
Nineteen countries took part in the competition, with South Africa ranked sixth ahead of the competition. They caused quite an upset when they beat third-ranked Great Britain to clinch bronze. Malaysia won gold and Hong Kong silver.
Daniel Smith, who is busy with his honours degree in sport science, and Aubrey Lawrence, a second-year education student, described the tour as a great experience and a wonderful opportunity. Although their team was rather inexperienced and they found the conditions in Malaysia quite hard to adapt to, they enjoyed the trip and are very pleased with the result.
“We managed to put South Africa on the map,” they believe.
They thanked Maties Sport and sport manager Candice Appollis-Williams for the support they received. Maties Squash Club has between 550 and 600 members. Daniel, a former chairperson and current men’s captain, says the club is heading in the right direction.
“The courts have been redone with new flooring and lighting and we hosted a very successful University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament in July.”
Daniel and Aubrey were part of the Maties Squash team that came second in this USSA tournament and they were both included in the “USSA Top Six” group.
Aubrey was also recognised as the “Most improved player”. The club’s second team won the B league, and the coach, Richard Castle, is the SA national coach.
They encouraged students to join Maties Squash and believe it is possible to successfully balance academic responsibilities and sport.