Commonwealth dream for Amy
Talented teen wins cash aid to keep hopes alive
The 16-year-old from Amersham was presented with a cheque for £750 at the latest Bucks Sporting Lunch at Eton’s Dorney Lake, the London 2012 Olympics canoeing and rowing venue, on Friday last week.
Amy (pictured) started playing the game as a six-year-old at Chesham Bois Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, where her dad and brother already played and where her talent was soon recognised.
She made her first national development squad at the age of 13 and is currently at U17 level, where she is ranked as the seventh best in the country.
The youngster is currently studying for her GCSEs at Amersham School, but has already won a scholarship to study her A Levels and be coached by some of the best squash coaches in the country at Wycliffe College, in Gloucester, from September.
She said: “I started playing when I was quite young and I really enjoyed it, but I’ve always been quite sporty. The club said I was quite good and I even got a most improved player award.
“I have been playing in tournaments since the age of 10.
“I’ve always been keen to try new things too, so that probably helped. I got into playing handball too when they introduced it at my school and made it into the regional team, but squash is my number one sport.
“My parents are really proud. They have really supported me and been my taxi to get to tournaments around the country, so hopefully the SportsAid award will help me with things like travel and equipment.
“Nicol David is the player I really admire, as the game is so hard mentally as well as physically, and she has a great mentality. I’m hoping I can develop both my mental and physical strength at Wycliffe, and my aim is to play at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.”
She is certainly talented enough, according to former Bucks county player Andy Longman, who has been Jones’ coach for five to six years now.
He said: “Amy certainly has the potential. We had a few men do well over the years, like Nathan Dugan and Lee Drew, who is now an England coach, who both came from Chesham, but Amy could be the best female player to come out of Bucks in some years. It’s early days, but she now has two years of studying and full-time training, which will really push her up.
“She is that age where she’s transferring from a junior to an adult, and she is good enough to be an adult pro.
“We’ve worked very hard on that, and she could definitely play at adult national level. She is currently ranked number seven in her age group, but she has another year in it, while five of those above her are about to step up, so she will be number two before long.”