Desiree Schalkwyk


Why did you join the Berkshire Squash Committee?
I joined in 2003 because a squash friend, Kim Clearkin, wanted to join the committee and asked me to join with her. As I had played squash actively in South Africa and had enjoyed being part of the Northern Transvaal’s committee, I decided to help out. I have performed a lot of different roles and enjoy helping where I can.

Where and when did you start playing squash?
I started playing in Germany in 1983.

Who was your biggest influencer in the game?
Initially, having been a tennis player, Denise Holton inspired me to convert to squash. Denise is a Springbuck squash player who played on the International circuit and represented South African and soon I was hooked. Then, when I joined Wellington in 2000, Phil Kenyon inspired me to start playing squash competitively again, after having not played for 5 years. Phil, was previously World number 4 and I really benefitted from his coaching and he helped me to win the Berkshire Ladies Closed Championship in 2001/02.

What was your most important squash development?
I have really enjoyed playing for and running the Ladies Berkshire teams – both the Seniors and Masters. I believe we have achieved remarkable success as a small County and I am proud of the committed, loyal and dedicated players who have always gone that extra mile to support each other and me – on and off the court. I am also proud of running the Men’s Over 45s and Ladies Closed Championships with my friend Linda Parsley and enjoy organising events and seeing players appreciate the opportunity to play these tournaments.

What was your most significant squash event?
Winning the Ladies Berkshire Closed Tournament in the 2001/02 season. 

What is your proudest squash moment?
Winning the Wellington Ladies Championship for the first time in 2001. I was the ‘underdog’ and won a very hard fought match 3/2 and really struggled to get out of the bed the next day as the lactic acid had seriously kicked in!

What other squash successes have you had?
I have been Wellington Ladies Champion 8 times.

Contact Des

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