Archive for January, 2009


Posted in Uncategorized on January 31, 2009 by siyoli

Main Draw

Played: Victoria Lust
World ranking: No.81
Country: England
Result: Lost 3-0; 11/5, 11/9, 11/9
Match Duration: 34min

Plate Event

I played in the plate event today and won my match 3-0.
That means tomorrow I play in the plate final vs Carrie Hastings
World No 156.

Also, Victoria Lust (3rd/4th seed) has caused an upset and beat the No.2 seed for the tournament, Rebecca Botwright. Ok, at least I feel better that i lost to an eventual finalist!!!!


Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2009 by siyoli

Wow! What an incredibly beautiful city. I have taken a walk along the famous Princess Street this evening and the view is utterly breathtaking. All the the grand buildings, including the castle, are all lit up at night creating an amazing skyline.

Well…back to the squash!

Day 1: Qualifiers Friday 30th January 12h00

Opponent: Christine Duncan

Unfortunately I have recently been informed that Christine has pulled out of the tournament. Therefore I am automatically through to the Main Draw.

Day 1: Main Draw Friday 17h15

Opponent: Victoria Lust
World Ranking: No. 81
Country: England

A Helpful Reminder

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2009 by siyoli

A fellow reader and supporter has reminded me of the post i wrote while in Germany titled, ” I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief.” Thank you. I will take that with me  into battle this weekend.

In fact, it ties in with the message i heard when i visited the New Frontiers Church in Cardfiff this last Sunday, Hope Church. Brace yourself! If you don’t know much, don’t like much or not able to listen to things about Jesus Christ and the Christian life, now is a good time to change channels. If not, read on – a lot of my thoughts and preparations this week are hugely influenced by what i listened to.

He spoke from the book in the bible Mark chapter 5 [Mark 5:21-43], where two people approached Jesus with the faith that their requests would be heard and granted – the faith that healing would occur. What the preacher  was drawing our attention to was the fact that these two individuals overcame certain obstacles, and took the risk to meet with Jesus.

The first was a man called Jairus who was a synagogue ruler – at the time he would have been one of the people who opposed Jesus, and also held quite a high rank in society. Therefore he risked his reputation being seen talking with Jesus, let alone, asking Him to heal his dying daughter. The second was a woman who had bleeding issues for 12 years. In those times the community would ostricize you and call you “unclean”, and everything touched by an unclean person would be deemed “unclean”. She reached out and touched Jesus’ cloak as He passed by while he was heading towards the dying girl, believing that she would be healed. Jesus turned to her and said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

So, what does this have to do with my squash? The two individuals overcame personal obstacles, had faith in what (in whom) they believed in, and took steps towards what they were hoping for (actually fought their way through crowds). I see tonnes of squash in that!!!

Note: The Bible defines faith as: “…being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” [Hebrews 11:1]

On Saturday, i also read that in Christ i/we/you have, “…taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in  knowledge in the image of its Creator.” [Colossians 3:9-10]. So, in squash terms the old player was me, pre-Germany. Now i have been equipped with new skills, a stronger body and should really embrace the new player that I am, and not just easily fold back into playing the old way simply because it is easier and is within my comfort zone.

With this current world ranking, i am going to have to fight in each match to get close to what i desire – to see my world ranking rise. I’m going to have to get over my fears and doubts, play hard and play fair. The total outcome, when’s and how’s, i do not fully know and i cannot see. But i will continue to have faith and be patient in knowing that each rally played is part of the game plan for that match. I will continue to have faith that each tournament played brings much needed experience and ranking points…ammunition for some major upsets in future games.

Now, let’s march into battle!

What’s Next?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26, 2009 by siyoli

Heading to Edinburgh this week…

Watch this space!!


P.S. I would appreciate it if people reminded me of the lessons i wish to take into battle with me!
We easily forget…

Welsh Open Main Draw

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2009 by siyoli

Day 2: What a battle!!

Played: Lotte Eriksen
World Ranking: No. 84
Country: Norway
Result: Lost 2-3: 12/14, 11/8, 10/12, 11/6, 10/12
Match Duration: 51 minutes

A tough match to lose. I believed i had the fitness edge – she was panting after the 3rd game, but made less errors than me. In the 4th, i felt i played more of my game. I stuggled to get a good length into the back corners in the first 3 games, but it came together in the fourth, which allowed me to play short into the front corners more effectively.

In the 5th game, i found myself holding back a little, pushing the ball instead of really hitting it – being tentative when going for a short ball instead of hitting confidently. The scores remained close throught the 5th game, until i made a crucial error into the tin at 9/9 which gave her 10/9 lead. I managed to fight back to 10/10 for a tie breaker, only to make yet again an untimely error which gave her 11/10 lead. A long final rally saw her take the match, and a place into the next round of the tournament.

I feel i put a lot of pressure on myself, and forgot that with a world ranking of No.249, i’m still clearly the underdog – therefore i don’t need to hold back, but should really play confidently as i have less to lose. There is a difference between playing patiently and holding back. When playing patiently, you’re confident that each shot you play is part of the game plan, even if it is not a flashy crowd pleaser. Holding back … well …. doubt begins to creep in, and you execute shots with less confidence. Not cool!

I have learnt plenty, and one thing i hope to take with me to Edinburgh next week is: I’m an underdog, therefore should play with no fear. In the meantime, tomorrow is saturday – normally a training day. So, as the saying goes, “There is no point in crying over spilt milk!” I guess I’ve got some training to do at 9am. I’ll rest after that ( while taking down some notes on my future opponents)!

Welsh Open Qualifiers

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2009 by siyoli

Day 1 – Victorious!

Played: Carrie Hastings 
World Ranking: No. 153
Country: England
Results: Won 11/6 11/5 11/3
Match Duration: 23 min

Day 2: Tomorrow in Main Draw

Opponent: Lotte Eriksen
World Ranking: No. 84
Country: Norway

* Only one qualifying match was needed.
* One seeded player pulled out due to injury, therefore the rankings for seeds were altered accordingly.

Yes, I Want To Win!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2009 by siyoli

Wednesday the 21st January, I’m travelling to Wales to play my first WISPA World Tour Tournament – Welsh Open, Cardiff.

My goal is to cause an upset! Yes, I want to win the tournament!!!

In order to do that, I must:
– win my first qualifying match 12h00 Thursday
– win my second qualifying match after 17h00 Thursday
– win against  one of 4 seeded players in the Main Draw on Friday
                         * Fiona Moverly from England (World No 53)
                         * Deon Saffrey from Wales (World No 59)
                         * Celia Allamargot from France (World No 65)
                         * Maud Duplomb from France (World No 78 )
– win two tough battles on Saturday before claiming the title on Sunday.


Ok, ok . . . I know it sounds a little – dare I say it – arrogant, but one has to have a large degree of self belief!  Else, you have already lost your games before even setting foot on court.

Some people have asked questions about my wins in Egypt:
What turned things around for me? How did I feel playing some of the top girls in the world? What helped me win?
A large part of  it is God’s grace that I didn’t fall sick or injure myself while training in cold weather conditions in Germany. Also, what helped was to believe that I was capable of more than participating in the championships, but believe that i’m intricately designed and trained to actually cause some damage and win! I had to believe that I could win.

My natural persona would shy away from saying, “I want to win this tournament!” But who am I kidding? We are entering these tournaments and travelling these distances in the hope to see some victorious results!

Yes, I want to win, but I do also want to do it in a way that shows professionalism, sportsmanship and good character – a way that would make my mom proud and see God smile.

Now that I’ve said all that and taken the risk to expose my heart, Cardiff awaits.
The outcome of each day is a mystery, not to be feared, but to be completely embraced. Many lessons we will learn, not to harm us, but to make us prosper – to grow us to be stronger than we were before.

New Years Update

Posted in Uncategorized on January 15, 2009 by siyoli


The year 2009 has kicked off with a great feel to it. In the last few weeks, I have been captivated by what the city of  Hull and beautiful nearby villages have had to offer, in the northen parts of England.

The health centre TOTAL FITNESS has allowed me to maintain my shape and fitness after all the Christmas puddings and festive delights. This Saturday the 17th January I will be visiting their 2009 Junior Squash launch.

The squash club, Hull and East Riding Squash Club, boasts the World No.53 women’s player, Fiona Moverly. She has become one of my training partners out here, and has assisted me in understanding the “behind the scenes info” to tackle  the WISPA World Tour. We will both be competing at the WELSH OPEN in Cardiff next week. This tournament will be held at the Welsh Institute of Sport. I have to play qualifying rounds, where only 4 out of 16 qualifiers get entry into main draw of 32, while she has direct entry into the main draw as the No.3 seed. These are the benefits of having a high world ranking. My world ranking is currently standing at No.249. I need to play in many tournaments in order to see it rise.

The city of Hull boasts the new team that was promoted into the English Premiership Football (Soccer) League in 2008, Hull City. It started the season strongly (much to critics’ surprise) and has recorded great wins against some of the top clubs in the league: Arsenal, Manchester United … to name a few. I have spotted the players training at TOTAL FITNESS. That means I’ll have to keep my camera with me at all times . .. you know … for your benefit of course!