My Australian Summer

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Vicki Cardwell and me at Westerfolds

Vicki Cardwell and me at Westerfolds

It’s 2010 and I’m here in Melbourne having a fantastic summer of training and experiencing the happenings in Melbourne city. As you know this is the best time of the year to be here and what better way to spend it than training with former World Champions who happen to live here!

First week—I was training with former World Champion and 4-time British Open Champion, Vicki Cardwell at her club in Westerfolds. Her son Josh and daughter Sarah are in the squash circuit and I had a chance to get on court with Josh while training with other players working with her. She shared a lot of her experience while she was competing and it was great that she was willing to work with me.

Sarah Fitz-Gerald and me at the Kooyong Classic Tennis

Sarah Fitz-Gerald and me at the Kooyong Classic Tennis

After a week with Vicki, I was back in MSAC and Moorabbin following up my training with Sarah Fitz-Gerald, 5-time World Champion and 2-time British Open Champion. This is my fourth summer in Melbourne now and Sarah is always so welcoming. We’ve been working together with another squash player from South Africa, Cheyna Tucker while training with the group of players Sarah gets together for us. I always look forward to her experience—it’s a treat to be on the same court as her.

While I’m mainly here for Squash, another great part of being here in the summer would have to be the tennis events! Sarah was invited to a President’s Lunch at the Kooyong Club while the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament was going on and another squash friend of hers got tickets for us to watch the Australian Open tennis. We saw nearly all the top players at Kooyong and witnessed Rafael Nadal doing the opening match for the evening at the Rod Laver Arena. We had another squash friend of ours who plays a major role in the World Squash Federation and a loyal Hong Kong squash representative, Heather Deayton, join us to enjoy the tennis action at the Australian Open. The atmosphere is awesome that is why I always try my best to go every year.

Sarah, Cheyna and me at the Kooyong Club

Sarah, Cheyna and me at the Kooyong Club

Heather, Sarah, Cheyna and me at the Rod Laver Arena

Heather, Sarah, Cheyna and me at the Rod Laver Arena

As summer flew by, I met a lot of new people, took comfort with familiar faces and came across plenty of activities—all lined up to keep this city vibrant during the summer. I am looking forward to more training that is come during my stay here til the end of the month.

G’day to all from Down Under!


  1. Arthur Curran

    February 4, 2010

    Well Nicol, looks like you had a fantastic time, hope you did do some training (I’m sure you did)and am glad you really enjoyed yourself. I would have loved to spend a summer over there in my younger days, but unfortunately am a little past that now. But give just a little thought to us poor freezing people here in England, we have been up to our waists in snow at times and have been absolutely freezing. Have spent most of this week watching live streaming of the Burning River Classic from Cleveland, Ohio, it has been great. Alison just won the final against Omneya 3 games to 2, a little closer than last week in Greenwich where Alison won 3 games to nil.
    Well Nicol, if you are off home to Penang for a little while say hello to your parents from me, and if you are back off to Amsterdam give my best to Liz. Look forward to catching up with you somewhere later in the year. Arthur. xxxx

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