SQUASH AUSTRALIA MEDIA RELEASE
Fitz-Gerald, Grinham to make Australian comebacks
Australian squash great Sarah Fitz-Gerald and former world number one Rachael Grinham will make their Australian comebacks at the Women’s World Teams Championship in the New Zealand city of Palmerston North from November 29-December 4.
Fitz-Gerald and Grinham will join New South Wales pair Kasey Brown and Donna Urquhart in the Australian team, which will be managed by Fitz-Gerald’s former teammate and great rival, Michelle Martin.
Fitz-Gerald retired from the world tour in 2003 but has remained incredibly fit and still plays in the A Grade men’s competition in Melbourne.
The 41-year-old, who was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame last month, has won five individual world titles and five team titles, as well as five Australian Opens and two British Opens.
Grinham last played for Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne but had made herself unavailable since then due to a falling out with officials.
However, Grinham and Squash Australia have enjoyed better relations in recent months and the 33-year-old from Toowoomba contacted Squash Australia after the Delhi Commonwealth Games and expressed interest in rejoining the Australian set-up.
Grinham played for Australia at the 2002 and 2004 Women’s World Teams Championships, winning the title in 2002 in a team that also included Fitz-Gerald.
“It’s very exciting to welcome Sarah and Rachael back into the team,” Martin said.
“Rachael’s current record speaks for itself – she’s been one of the top players on the women’s tour for a decade now and on her day she can beat anyone in the world.
“And Sarah is simply a living legend of the sport. Although she’s been ‘retired’ since 2003 I think she still plays almost every day.
“With Kasey and Donna thrown into the mix, Australia have gone from outsiders at the tournament to one of the favourites.”
Squash Australia CEO Gary O’Donnell stressed that the selections of Fitz-Gerald and Grinham were a huge boost for Australian squash.
“Once Rachael expressed an interest in coming back we welcomed her with open arms, while Sarah will give the team much needed experience, as well as her undoubted talent,” O’Donnell said.
“We have some gifted young women coming through, led by Kasey Brown and Donna Urquhart, who will both build on their Delhi success through this team.
“We can do well now and create momentum at this early stage for Glasgow in 2014.”
O’Donnell said Queensland’s Lisa Camilleri would be the non-travelling reserve and would remain in Melbourne to train with former world number one Vicki Cardwell.