Former world No.1 in the Barossa

Former world number 1 squash champion, Vicki Cardwell.

With years of experience under her belt, former world No.1 squash player, Vicki Cardwell is now an inspiring figure in the Barossa as she turns to coaching young squash players, aspiring to be champions one day.

Vicki told The Leader she does not miss playing squash, but rather enjoys being a hands on coach.

“I love being on the squash court and I enjoy engaging in drills and training.” 

Vicki ended her career when she was 28 years old, to begin a family.

From the late 1970’s through to the mid 1990’s, Vicki was one of the leading players on the international squash circuit. In stellar career, Vicki won a World Open in 1983 and won the British Open title four consecutive times from 1980-83.

In 1981 at the world open finals in Toronto, Canada, Vicki played her longest game of squash when she was seeded number 1.

“Unfortunately, I finished second,” she said.
  “The match went for over 2 hours, but the playing time was 1 hour, 57 minutes.”

Vicki was such a dominant force in the sporting world for almost 20 years that she was inducted into the Squash Australia Hall of Fame and Sport Australia. 

After an outstanding playing career, Vicki currently holds the position as State Regional Development Officer for Squash South Australia and now commutes to the Barossa from Adelaide to spread awareness about the benefits of playing squash.

“I coach up to 50 people in the Barossa of all ages and abilities, with the youngest being eight years old,” Vicki remarked.

“I approached Faith Lutheran College and Tanunda  Primary School about getting students involved in the squash programme at the Barossa Rex.

“They have been great with supporting squash,” she said.

“I offer squash fit every Friday from 9 a.m. till noon.

“It’s for everyone, it doesn’t matter what your playing abilities are.

“The junior programme is regularly on a Tuesday after school and Thursday after school.

“I also offer private coaching on a Monday.”

Squash attracts a broad range of people according to Vicki.

“It’s a very inclusive and welcoming game,” she added.

“The intensity of the exercise really appeals to people and is something that appealed to me when I began.

“It’s introduced to children because it’s something a bit different.

“New facilities, playing inside and playing all year around is a major factor as to why it is becoming a popular sport.”

Vicki said there are various skills that make a great squash player.

“Although squash appears easy from outside, it’s a very intense game,” she added.

“You need to be strong, fast, powerful and agile. 

“You also have to enjoy the training and the competition.”

Squash ticks all the boxes for offering an efficient amount of exercise in a short space of time in a healthy and safe enviornment, Vicki remarked.

“Squash has so many health benefits.

The aim of squash is to take turns hitting the ball with your opponent to the front wall, making the ball impossible to play, or forcing an error, from your opposition.

“It’s a great activity and you can get a lot out of an hour of squash,” she said.

“It’s great for the mind, body and soul.

“I encourage everyone to come out and have a go.”

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