Nicol David Signals The End
Of A Unique Era In Squash
Today's announcement in her
home country Malaysia that Nicol David is bringing to a close her
illustrious playing career in squash signals the end of a unique era in
Since making her debut on
the international stage in 1996 when she won the British Junior U14
Open title as a 12-year-old, this formidable woman from Penang has
blazed a phenomenal trail through the sport, creating record after
record. Now 35, David became the first player to win two world junior
titles in 2001 before going on to accumulate a record eight senior
individual world titles amongst a total of 81 PSA World Tour titles from
102 final appearances.
In 2015, David established a
record 109-month unbroken run as world No.1 - and in Malaysia she is
recognised as the country's most successful Asian Games athlete
with 7 gold medals (5 individual and 2 in team championships) in the
David was inducted into the
World Squash Federation 'Hall of Fame' in 2011.
In the statement issued in
Malaysia today, David said: "After more than 20 years playing squash for
Malaysia, competing on the professional tour and achieving the utmost
best from my career being the only Malaysian athlete to achieve these
accolades and to be recognised as the greatest female squash athlete of
all time by my peers, I can proudly say that I am ready and happy to
announce my retirement at the end of this seasonal tour.
"This is a moment that every
athlete must go through - to explore fully on what more there is in
store for them. I am now at this point in my life, ready to take on more
beyond the pro tour.
"This decision has been
thought through for quite some time and I do know this is my last
season. My mind and body have battled it out to stay at the very top of
my game for such a long time that I feel that I only have this last big
push left for the final season to give it all I have before I enter the
next phase of my life.
"I love squash with all my
heart, and it will always play an important role in my life. Which is
why I would like to give back in three ways:
"1. To Squash by joining PSA
(Professional Squash Association) to work with them closely to raise the
awareness of our sport globally and to build a support team for our
professional squash athletes as they continue to raise the bar on tour.
"2. To Malaysia's younger
generation through the Nicol David Foundation which seeks to
empower girls through sport to reach their full potential. This will be
refined fully in a strategic partnership with PwC to create the best
structure and programme moving forward to have more girls playing sport,
improve their study skills and soft skills too.
"3. To the People in
Malaysia, I will be sharing my story, 'Nurturing Belief', through a
series of talks and writings.
"This is just the initial
start of more exciting things planned and I cannot wait to venture into
this next phase with all of you after my squash on tour.
"Throughout these next few
months till the end of the seasonal tour in June, I will be sharing
through my 'The Dream Remains' campaign, everything that my life in
squash has given me.
"I would like to enjoy my
last few tournaments together with everyone through this campaign in the
hopes of giving all a chance to have their own dreams to go forth the
way I plan to keep striving for."
CEO of the World Squash Federation, said: "Nicol's playing record
speaks for itself. She had already become a legend several years ago.
Her results have been very special, but so is she.
"I can well remember trying
to manoeuvre the winner and runner up of the British Junior Open under
14 event in 1997 into standing and smiling for a presentation
photograph. The winner was Nicol, the runner up Omneya (Abdel Kawy) -
and yes, at that time the girls hadn't got to grips with smiling!
"Since then Nicol has not
only developed a smile, but grew from girl into woman with such a warm
and winning personality that has marked her as special both on and off
"It has been a privilege of
mine to have watched her blossom in both respects. Running the Women's
Tour during so many years of her success, like everybody else I saw her
wonderful athleticism so well-honed by Liz Irving, her drive to
succeed, but also her humility. Her opponents have always been
respected, those who have helped or simply supported her received
sincere thanks, never a hint of diva, dealing with defeat, .... and
always that smile.
"More than this, she would
always give of herself. 'No' was such a hard word for her. From the
Women's Tour perspective, the burden of interviews was accepted with
good grace. More than that, from 2002 onwards, Nicol would always say
yes to the onerous WISPA Promotional Tours and latterly the WSF
Ambassadors Programme (above image showing David with youngsters during
the Malawi visit in 2012) whenever she could. And how the players and
organisers from the 'young' squash countries loved her!
"All this followed the
19-year-old realising that in order to achieve her potential she had to
move to Europe, leave her family and friends, and make her way on her
own. She succeeded as we know - another accolade.
"For so many years as world
number one, Nicol 'carried' the Tour. She was the face of it - and
Malaysian sport too. She was the Ambassador. She was being pulled this
way and that. She graciously dealt with it all.
"One can have no doubt that
her next life phase will be a great success, with her drive and
captivating style. She says that the dream remains, so not only has
squash had a wonderful career to watch, but thankfully we know that
Nicol will continue giving of herself in many ways in the future.
"Nicol, you are awesome, and
will always continue to be!"