First-year students, Georgia Erindale, Luke Jacoby and Nicholas Holland, will boost the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Squash Club teams’ winning ways in the 2023 season. The new recruits have an impressive background in playing squash.
Erindale is a Batchelor of Health Science in Sports and Exercise Sciences student at UJ. She was elected the first captain of her school when she was in Grade 8, a role she reigned in for four years. In her spare time, she rides horses and runs to stay fit.
“I bring a lot of courage to the UJ team. I believe I am a courageous player who never gives up no matter how strong the opposition is. I always try find a way to win a game. My strength lies not just in my physical abilities, but also in having a very strong mind; I am not easily threatened by my opponents,” says Erindal
Other than playing squash for UJ, Jacoby hopes to pass all subjects in his Chiropractic studies. He started Squash at the age of eleven (11). In 2022, he represented South Africa in the South African Junior World Championships in France.
Holland, a BCom in Sport Management student is pushing for 60% in his academics. He has played squash for 7 years, playing for Central Gauteng Junior Squad for 5 years.
He learned to play squash from his father. Speaking on his anticipation for the season, Holland said, “It’s gonna be a tough season definitely. We’re in a revolving phase, but I am up for the challenge.
Games are not decided before you walk on court. So, we have to believe in ourselves and step onto the court with confidence to do well and finish at the top this season.”
Mike Bester, the UJ Squash Head Coach, says that this year the UJ Squash Club has a relatively young and inexperienced group. Thus, he says, the teams need a programme that is conducive for progressive development as opposed to expecting big things too early.
“I don’t think we can expect what we have achieved in the last ten years. If we get top 3, that would be great, but we’ll have to work hard to get there, there’s no doubt about it. I’m optimistic in terms of the progress that they have made,” says Bester.
The UJ Squash Club plays in both competitive league and social setups for players. Their players compete in the Central Gauteng Squash League. They have won the University Sport Tournament (USSA) for the last 6 consecutive years.
The club will start their season at the end of March 2023. Fixtures will soon be confirmed.