Beating the best
Speed, endurance and agility will be displayed in the upcoming Junior All African Squash Tournament that was officially launched on Wednesday 27 March. The tournament includes some of squash’s prolific players from South Africa and Egypt. The Economist caught up with 18 year old Danie Greeff ahead of the tournament to hear his expectations.
An excited yet composed Greeff explained to The Economist that he has been playing the game since he was 10 years old. He explains that he has been in tournaments for a long time, being involved as early as u14 tournaments. He studied in South Africa for his high school diploma and is currently enrolled at North Western University in South Africa, studying accounting. “I am looking forward to the tournament. For me, it will be a chance to test myself against the Egyptian and South African Players. I lost narrowly to South Africa’s best when we met last year,”explained Greeff. To him, this is a chance to redeem himself. He is looking forward to the upcoming challenge. “Every player will tell you that when it comes to squash the main challenges are staying fit and being disciplined with your practise hours.” The young player stated that his role model is James Willstrop, the professional British squash player. “I like his personal discipline and his love for the game.”
Despite his youth, the young player has a couple of accolades under his belt. Last year he was nominated for Namibia’s Junior player of the year. He has won the 2010 and 2011 coastal open squash adult games and came 7th overall in North Western province games in South Africa last year. Concerning playing as a professional player, Greeff had this to say, “At this stage its hard to say since am still in my first year of studies. I want to get a degree first before I can make any judgement calls.”
This tournament will see the participation of 7 countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Egypt, Botswana and Zimbabwe. A total of 12 teams will be participating in the games that will run from the 28 March to 1 April. Squash lovers can watch the matches that will all be played at the Wanderer’s Stadium in Pionierspark, Windhoek from Thursday morning at 9am.