Meet the State Graders

Continuing with our ‘Meet the State Graders’ series, we are excited to introduce another two of the fellows who are competing in the state’s highest level competition.  This week we spoke to Hilton Squash Club’s Daniel Hartigan, and Belmont Saints Squash Club’s Gavin Sutherland

Daniel was born in Tauranga, New Zealand, and moved to Perth in 2012.  Gavin was born much further away in Aberdeen, Scotland, relocating to Australia only a few years ago.

We asked them how they first got into squash. Daniel’s grandmother used to take him and his siblings down to their local squash courts during the school holidays for some fun, and Gavin’s father took him along to squash one Sunday where he became instantly hooked.  Daniel has been playing competitively since he was 14 years of age, and Gavin has been playing for almost 27 years!

What does a typical week look like for Daniel and Gavin?  Well Daniel plays pennants on Tuesdays and Thursdays, AND trains twice a week on top of that.  Gavin also plays twice per week however due to having a very young family, is unable to play or train any more that that for the time being.  

We asked Daniel and Gavin what they love the most about squash.  Daniel shared, “it’s better than the gym!  It’s just a great way to keep fit and I find it seems to physically push me more than any other sport.  Gavin said that he loves how “it’s like fast chess; ideally you’re thinking 2 or 3 shots ahead. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the greats over a beer – you can’t get that in many sports. I’ve met some great people through squash, people I’ll be friends with for life. ..and you can have a brilliant workout in 40 minutes!”  We certainly agree with those sentiments guys!

Finally, we asked what advice they would impart to a junior currently travelling along the development pathway.  Daniel encourages our up and coming juniors to, “play as much as possible, and try to find a mentor to assist you/train you. You need to enjoy the game and friendships that come with it, and don’t get put off by bad results or a bad run in form. If you keep pushing and stay determined the results will come.”  Gavin said to “always strive to play people better than you. Or if you can’t, structure a session so you get the most out of it. Watch the pros – it’s amazing how much you can learn from just watching them.”  Now that is some fantastic advice!

Thank you so much for your time Daniel and Gavin – and best of luck for the season!

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