Did you know the World Squash Champion is from Preston?
Well she is and that lady is called Laura Massaro.
During the build up to the Commonwealth Games Low Wood Club squash enthusiast Nev asked our gold medal hope a few questions
1. Can you take us through a typical day in the life of Laura Massaro?
Well, it varies from day to day but generally I train 10mins away from home at David Lloyd in Chorley. I do 2 sessions per day and most days that tends to be one in the gym and one on court. Court wise i'm either working technically, playing matches, doing hard pressure sessions with the ball or doing solo practice. In the gym, this varies between weights, agility and High Intensity sessions. I try to eat well and rest well when not down at the gym.
2. Currently British squash is going through a successful period, are there any up an coming young stars we need to look out for?
British wise I have been quite impressed with a group of young girls coming through at under 17 level. They have competition against each other which is healthy and I think they could go far. Talent wise there are always young Egyptians coming through who are extremely talented.
3. With the Commonwealth Games days away, what are your expectations for the tournament?
My goal is to try and play as well as I can. This is always my goal when going into an event as it helps me stay calm. I won silver in the doubles 4 years ago and I would love to get a medal in the individual as well this time round.
4. Do you have any superstitions before matches?
Generally if I find myself needing to do something because I have got into a habit of doing it I nip it in the bud there and then. I don't want to find myself in a situation where I NEED to do something strange and wonderful! It is however very difficult once into a habit of eating a certain food for breakfast and dinner to get out of it. Just because I know it's working. I guess that's a bit of a superstition especially because normally after an event I can't stand the sight of that food for a few weeks as i've over done it.
5. With the introduction to the review system in major tournaments, Is there any other rules that you would like to see changed or be looked out?
I would like to see the review system extended so players can review double bounces and 'out of court' decisions.
6. If you were in charge of British Squash, how would you encourage more participation in the sport?
I would try to get more players to spend time going into schools to encourage kinds to get into squash.
7. There has been squash tournaments played in Football stadiums, Train stations and in front of the pyramids in Egypt, if you could play a tournament anywhere in the world, were would it be and why?
My favourite event so far is played at Grand Central station in New York but if I could choose any new location to put a squash court and play an event there it would probably be in Sydney in front of the Opera House! I can't imagine a better view and backdrop to place a squash court.
8. Could you give us an insight in to your Diet & Nutrition?
I try to eat a high protien diet with carbs when I need them. I eat a lot of nuts and fuit and vegetables. Generally I try to be as healthy as I can be. My latest purchase is the nutri bullet and it's a fantastic thing to have in your home for getting some good fruit and veg into your system.
9. Off the court, what other types of training do you do to improve your squash performance?
In the summer I definitely try to do more running. On grass if possible to save my joints. In the gym I stick to non impact work such as x-trainer and bike as I have enough impact on the squash court. I may also get in the pool and swim or aqua jog for training and recovery/rehabilitation which is crucial.
10. Finally…….. If you could invite 4 guests (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Serena Williams - Love her passion and champion spirit.
Chrissie Wellington - To ask how she managed to mentally get through so many ironman championships.
Beyonce - Amazing woman and would love to spend some time with her :-)
Thomas Bach (IOC president) - To ask what squash needs to do to gain Olympic status.
Would be an interesting dinner party!
A massive thank you to Laura for giving up her precious time to answer these questions and lets hope you she brings a gold medal back to the North West, Go Laura Go!