When you think of Wales in terms of sports, there is one sport that the wonderful place is renowned for Rugby; however recent accomplishments in Squash are showing that the country could be soon on a revival.
Following the strong performance of one Tesni Evans at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and winning the British National Squash Open, there is no doubt she is flying the flag for Welsh Squash at major international tournaments and progress up the top 10 of the PSA ladies rankings.
However, Squash in Wales has always been popular when it comes major competition in the sport; it’s just not publicised.
A multi-talented sports star from Cardiff
One of the first ever Squash players to come from Wales was Audrey Bates, in fact she was actually a well known competitor in other racquet sports table tennis and tennis; in addition to lacrosse.
The Cardiff native took part in British Open Squash Championships between 1947 and 1965 as a seeded player. Her allies in Squash at the time were, Rachel Byrne and G W James, together along with Audrey; these three women were the Squash representatives flew the flag for Wales from the late 1940s through to the 1960s.
Christina Rees is another Squash legend that represented Wales in the sport, oddly enough she championed to the sport into the Olympics at UK parliament session.
Throughout the years there were other Squash players to come out Wales such as Alex Gough, Peter Creed, David Evans , Emyr Evans, Sam Fenwick, Alex Gough , Gavin Jones , Joel Makin and Rob Sutherland.
Success at the Commonwealth Games
In the history of Squash at the Commonwealth Games, Wales are in the top 8 of nations to achieved medals in the event.
The first was Alex Gough, who took bronze at the inaugural event in 1988, this feat was achieved again by Tesani Evans in 2018 games in Australia.
Squash, the new Welsh favourite alongside Rugby and Football
Rugby was the only sport that Wales were seen the masters and supreme legends off.
However, this all changed when national football side made into the UEFA Euro 2016 finals in France – now could Squash become the third favourite sport of the Welsh? It could do because of the success of Tesni and not forget her brother Emyr.
Looking at the Squash development initiatives in Wales, there is a considerable number of Squash clubs in the country, aligned with the backing of the Wales Squash & Racketball Association plus schemes to develop coaches to develop grassroots development of the sport.
Could this be the catalyst for future success in international competition? Well, add this to the success of Tesni Evans, shows that Squash can become a major force and build the legacy set by Audrey Bates, Rachel Byrne and G W James
To conclude, Wales has a strong legacy in Squash starting with three women who took part in British tournaments and winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games; this is the foundations on which most Squash winning countries are built on.