After making my debut on the Barbados Team in 2002, as the next 8 years passed I went on to win several tournaments at home as well as in St. Lucia and Trinidad. I experienced my first Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Colombia in 2006 where I won a bronze medal in the mixed doubles with my good friend Gavin Cumberbatch (an amazing result really since there are no doubles courts in Barbados and this was the first time either of us had played on one!) and the Women’s Team also won bronze. That was a pretty special experience and a whole different level to Caribbean squash with teams such as Mexico and Colombia taking part. Another highlight was winning a silver medal in mixed doubles at the 2009 Pan American Squash Championships, this time with Shawn Simpson..
2010 was a busy year on the squash calendar. As well as our local tournaments and the Caribbean Championships, we also had the CAC Games and for the first time I would be entering the World Masters. Little did I know that the year I turned 38 was to be the best year I would ever have as a squash player. The Squash Association employed an overseas National coach (Jonathan Gallagher from the UK) for the first time since I had moved to Barbados. This coupled with a lot of hard work definitely made a difference to my squash that year.
My first tournament was the Trinidad Open in April which I won for the 4th straight year. Then it was onto the Barbados Nationals in May. When I moved to Barbados my goal was always to win 10 straight National titles. The final was against a young and promising Cheri-Ann Parris.
Before this match I had never dropped a game in this tournament. We both started nervously but I managed to win the first game. In the second Cheri began using her power and I got drawn into the hard hitting game much to Cheri’s delight and she took the game 11-8. Thankfully my experience kicked in (the one positive of being nearly 20 years older than your opponent!) and I was able to slow down the pace and win the next 2 games. It was a huge relief to get my tenth title and a very proud moment for me…
Despite not being born in Barbados it is definitely my home and I often joke about being born in the wrong country by accident! My team mates will tell you how patriotic I am and I rarely compete in anything other than yellow and blue (our National colours) and always with my signature Barbados bandana.
The year was off to a good start..