Com­mon­wealth dream for Amy

Tal­ented teen wins cash aid to keep hopes alive

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­

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.”

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