Nicol David Bares All!

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Get to know the current World No.1 better as she writes to Squash Stars about everything that is Nicol David!

I was born on August 26th, 1983 in Penang, Malaysia. It was sometime around 4pm when I popped out to find myself in the hands of Dr. Nama at the Gleneagles Hospital – he’s actually still working there now!

Growing Up

I grew up in Green Lane, it’s a suburb in Penang. As a child, I remember keeping myself entertained; running around the garden or playing some ball sport in the house (never a good idea indoors) and hanging out with my neighbour. My older sisters—Lianne and Cheryl had to look after me while I remained my hyperactive self. Good times!

I was 5 years old when I first played squash in the Bukit Dumbar Squash Centre, now better known as the Penang International Squash Centre. I actually joined a year after my sisters got the hang of the game. Squash was (and still is) a good way to keep me captive indoors so I didn’t run around too much. Now you know what to do with a hyper active kid

Where I am now

I have currently made Amsterdam my home base for training. Liz Irving has an Academy here in Amsterdam and I’ve been working with her for the last 6 years. I also train with Sarah Fitz-Gerald in Melbourne during the Australian summer which I have been doing for the past 3 years. It is the perfect working relationship with Liz and Sarah combined, because they both work on the same level and have so much to offer.

However, I do go back to my hometown in Penang for my Mum’s cooking and to enjoy the simple luxuries of being home. It’s a bit of a holiday for me now. I do this only 3 times a year coinciding the two CIMB Malaysian tournaments and the third time during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Squash Idols?

I don’t particularly idolize any squash player but I try to emulate the best of all the top squash players; past and present – and then put everything together to make it my own. Each player has a unique trait that takes them to the top and I try to learn as much as I can from their experiences. There are still so many areas in which I can improve on – both as a squash player and as a person. For me, the willingness to learn and to be open to the right information offered has become the major factor in helping my squash career.

Life after squash

Squash will definitely continue to play a big part in my life and it’ll always be a game that I will keep close to my heart. I would like to have my own Academy in Penang, one day and perhaps branch out throughout Malaysia. I also plan to increase my involvement with my United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador duties by then and have a design company as well. Design is another passion of mine.

I would love to indulge in outdoor activities – stuff like wall climbing, water sports and other things that are on my list of “must try, at least once”. Currently I have to stay away from anything that can remotely be an injury risk.

My current interests

What I allow myself to do now (because I can’t climb walls) is watching live gigs. Hip Hop and R&B is my first love. I am also into funky house, chillout lounge and jazz music. I love singers like Missy Elliot and Mary J. Blige and I also listen to groups like the Black Eyed Peas, Destiny’s Child and many more! Being in Amsterdam, live music is very accessible and I take full advantage when my favourite artists come this way.

Watching movies is one of my favorite pastimes as well. I like true stories and comedies. I think Denzel Washington, Edward Norton and Kevin Spacey are great actors.

Holidays! Where and why!

My favourite holiday destination is Auckland, New Zealand. Just early this year, I was there for a month to enjoy the nature that surrounds the city. I have relatives there, and they have been introducing me to a lot of new things such as fishing with a line and deep sea fishing. We went sailing a lot and chilled out at their holiday home on a hill leading onto the beach. I even played golf for the first time in my life in NZ!

My number 1 passion in life (apart from Squash)

I love anything to do with food (or rather eating). I’m from Penang and we always rave about our local food. My favourites are Char Koay Teow and Laksa. My Mum’s cooking still tops everything though. I’ll try anything once and traveling all over the world gives me a chance to explore new cuisines which is great. My philosophy with food is ‘eat what your body tells you to eat!’

There are moments where I can just do nothing like watching tv all day to recover from a tough week on the court. Other times, I like to wander around the park, walk around town or doodle some art when I have some time free.

I’d describe myself as an outgoing extrovert… somewhat chilled out.

My motto? Live Life and Enjoy Living!!



  1. Kid

    May 11, 2009

    Hey Nicol, many congrats on the sweet win in the Caymans. Well done girl!!

  2. Tan Hai Hooi

    November 22, 2009

    Hi Nicol,
    I’m Hai Hooi from malaysia who like to watch the squash games and i like the way you play.


Nicol David, Founder
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