In this week’s StarGazer Interview:
Kasey Brown, Australia
With much delight, we welcome the newest addition to our Squash Stars family, Kasey Brown, our Ambassador for Australia. Currently ranked World No. 8, Kasey is right on track, following the footsteps of Australian squash greats such as Michelle Martin and Sarah Fitzgerald. Spurred by a strong junior career, Kasey has been growing in strength and skills over the years and is surely a player to watch on the tour.
STARGAZER : How did you get into the game?
KASEY :My mother used to work at a squash centre and when I was around 9 years old, I would go with her on the weekends and began hitting balls by myself for hours. I then began playing the local junior competition and when I was 12 years old, I met my former coach, Glenn Reece, who asked me if I wanted to attend a state junior squash tournament. A year later, I won my first Australian Junior Title in the Under 13’s. At age 14, the local squash centre I trained at closed down and I moved away from home and school to live with the Reece family and train with Glenn’s sons. This continued until I finished school and gained a scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport and began my professional career.
STARGAZER : Did you play any other sport when you were younger?
KASEY :When I was very young, I did a lot of swimming but was not a fan of the training. Also, before I began playing squash, I played netball. I must have been quite uncoordinated because it was during this time that my mum told me that she hoped I was good academically because it didn’t seem I would be any good at sports. During my teenage years, I also played hockey.
STARGAZER : 2010 has been a successful year for you. From breaking into the top 10 to winning the Dayton Open & Australian Doubles Championship. You’ve also made it to the quarters and semis of many major tournaments. How do you feel about these achievements?
KASEY :I have done alot of work in the last year with Rod Martin and the AIS and it seems to be coming together a bit more this year. I am hoping to continue this form and win some medals in the Commonwealth Games in both the singles and doubles.
STARGAZER : How do you juggle your psychology degree amidst your busy schedule on the WISPA circuit?
KASEY :I am still studying and have a year to go. My degree is through USQ and I complete it online so it takes alot of self-motivation. However, there is time in between training and at tournaments to study.
STARGAZER : What do you miss most about training away from home?
KASEY :I am currently based in New York and although I really enjoy living here, there is no place like home. I miss my family and friends in Australia and the weather is amazing (I’m not a fan of the cold).
STARGAZER : Do you have any goals outside of squash such as learning a language, surfing etc?
KASEY :For my birthday, I was given a harmonica so I am learning that as well as guitar. I have achieved a few of my goals so far, like bungee jumping, skydiving and getting my motorbike. I also want to compete in a triathlon and climb a mountain (Everest maybe).
STARGAZER : Where are you training and who are you currently sparring with?
KASEY :As mentioned, I am based in New York and training under Rod Martin. I am also part of the Australian Institute of Sport based in Brisbane, where I work with Byron Davis and Rod Eyles.
STARGAZER : It must be a dream for most to be coached by the legendary Michelle Martin. Can you tell us how you feel about this and what you have learned from her over the years?
KASEY :I feel very honoured to have worked with Michelle. She knows so much about competing on the women’s circuit and I have learned alot from her. It is great when former champions stay involved in the sport and the current Australian players are lucky to have access to these people.
STARGAZER : Australia took the honours in the women’s singles and doubles at the Commonwealth Games in 2006, winning 3 out of the 6 medals contended. Leading the women’s charge this time around, what are your thoughts about the prospects of the team?
KASEY :Australia has a very strong history in the Commonwealth Games and to date, has won the women’s singles event every year. This year there will be tough competition, but Australia has a strong team and we hope to win as many medals as possible.
STARGAZER : Squash missed out yet again in its inclusion into the London Olympics 2012. In your opinion, how can the profile of squash be boosted for the sport to achieve its Olympic dream?
KASEY :I think the profile of the sport needs to be boosted through the media, especially television. PSA has recently focused on, and set up a live stream, which includes some WISPA matches and this is the beginning of a long process to increase the popularity of the sport throughout the world.
STARGAZER FACT FILE:
Name : Kasey Brown
Age : 25
Nationality : Australian
Home State/Town/City : Taree, NSW, Australia
Current Residence : Harrison, NY, USA
Current World Ranking : 8
Coach : Rod Martin, Byron Davis
Racquet : Harrow
Favorite Squash Player of All Time : Michelle Martin, Sarah Fitzgerald
Proudest Achievement : Winner Australian Open 2006
Favorite Tournament : Cayman Islands
Favorite Food : Sushi
Favorite Holiday Destination : Home
Favorite Color : Red