Fresh from a recent victory in Barcelona, one of the UKs top squash players has her eye on more glory at the British Championships at the end of this week.
18 year old Lucy Turmel from Swilland first started playing when she was 11. She also was a keen gymnast but at the age of 13 she decided to focus her energies on squash.
With genes in professional sport (her dad Frank was a pro boxer and her mum Karen was a pro Show Jumper), her rise to the top has been spectacular.
She started played competitively five years ago when taking part in an eastern regional competition. On winning this it gave her confidence to progress.
Today, Lucy trains twice a day six times a week in both Ipswich and Manchester and is currently ranked number 71 in the world. She is also ranked Britain’s number one at under 19-level.
She said, “My ambition is to be world number one and world champion – I hope to do that as soon as possible. That is the focus.”
“I’d love to be a professional at the highest level. You can make a good living in the senior tour. The prize money for winning a tournament in Dubai was £45k.”
That money would dramatically rise if Squash was to secure a spot at a future Olympic Games and there is talk of this happening at the Los Angeles games in 2024.
“If squash got to the Olympics I’d definitely be up for this challenge.”
After One Lucy aims to dedicate all of her time to the game.
“I’ve been at One for a year and a bit and everyone has been helpful – they are very supportive. The support from the family is also incredible. My mum and dad had to take me everywhere before I could drive. They give me good advice, they are very positive – and whatever the result they are very level headed. They tell me to relax and I can always talk to them.”
“When I leave college I will dedicate all of my time to this. Even now everything is dedicated to squash. What I eat, how much I sleep and train – I don’t get to do what my friends are doing as I don’t get much free time. But it’s the sacrifice I have chosen.”
Lucy currently has a sponsor for her equipment and has been working with a local businessman who has helped her on the psychological side of squash.
But she is keen to get more support from the local business community. She said, “Any extra support would be amazing. I really think I’ve got half a chance of becoming number one in the world – you have to believe in yourself a lot. You have to believe you can beat anyone.”
Next up for Lucy will be the British championships at the end of October. Then in 2018 she will be travelling to Poland to compete in a European tournament and then India in July to test herself against the world’s best.
Her tutor, Anna Bird said, “Lucy is an amazing talent and we feel lucky that she chose to study with us. She carries herself incredibly well and she is very determined. We will do all we can to help her achieve her ambitions.”