Making a splash with squash

By Mohammed Rayaan Published on Jul 30, 2018 04:15 PM IST

Chennai: India's 19-year-old squash player Sunayna Kuruvilla is about to play at the Asian Games in Jakarta this August.

Speaking to News Today, the third-year visual communication student talks about her love for the sport and goals she wishes to achieve. She reveals that it was her cousin and fellow squash player Dipika Pallikal who first made her step into squash.

Q: Can you tell us about your entry into Squash?

A: Dipika took me to a summer camp at the Indian Squash Academy when I was nine and that's how this all started. I got on the court and fell in love with the sport pretty soon after.

Q: How do your family and friends feel about your passion for Squash?

A: Well, my family is full of sports persons. My dad and aunt were cricketers, both my grandfathers were basketball players. So it's pretty normal in our family to play a sport. When I told them that I'd like this to be my career, it was totally normal. They've always been supportive. I have three really good friends who are more like family than just friends. They've been so understanding and encouraging, and I'm so grateful I have them in my life.

Q: Tell us how your daily routine looks like...

A: It involves training at the Indian squash academy in the morning, either a session with my coach, Bala sir, or just getting on court myself and do some solo work. Then thrice a week, I head to the gym in Kotturpuram to work with my trainer. The days I don't have gym, I'm doing some footwork drills or sprints to help improve my fitness. In the evening, we usually play matches.

Q: How do you stay motivated?

A: One can stay motivated when they genuinely love and enjoy what they are doing. Most often than not when many losses come my way, I do feel extremely upset and pretty demotivated, but that feeling goes away in a day or two, and I go back to working hard because I truly enjoy it.

Q: How do you find time to balance your academics and sports?

A: I've been doing that for a really long time now. It's never been easy, but it has made me grow so much as a human being. It has made me strong, and I have surely gotten so much better at time management through this. Although, a huge secret is that the school I studied in - Good Shepherd - and the college I'm currently studying in - MOP Vaishnav - are the most supportive, and I'm really blessed to have that.

Q: Which Squash player do you look up to for motivation?

A: All the top-ranked players in our country have always inspired me. All of them work really hard and bring so many laurels to the country and the sport... It's something that I really wish to be doing and carry forward.

Q: What are your long-term goals?

A: I would like to keep moving up the rankings and hopefully become the highest ranked Indian player on the professional circuit. Also, I would like to continue playing for the country at the highest levels and hopefully win medals.