Campion pleased with form of England’s squash players in run-up to Commonwealth Games

National coach David Campion believes that the England squash team can rise to the occasion of playing at the home Commonwealth Games this summer.

By Mark Berry
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:21 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:23 pm

Team England’s squad for the Games, to be held in Birmingham, was revealed last week and Campion, who lives in Stainland and is based at Queens Sports Club, in Halifax, thinks that the players selected have already demonstrated their credentials on the international stage this year.

Campion has been based at Queens since 1995. He was head professional there before joining England Squash as national junior coach in 2000 and going on to become the national coach, with overall responsibility for the performance programme.

He has overseen some terrific results in recent weeks with the World Doubles, in Glasgow, last month inspiring England’s James Willstrop and Declan James to men’s doubles gold medals.

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England's Declan James and James Willstrop on top of the podium at the World Doubles.

More success in Glasgow came with silver medals for Alison Waters and Sarah Jane Perry in the women’s doubles and silvers for Adrian Waller and Waters in the mixed doubles. Waller teamed-up with Daryl Selby to finish fourth in the men’s standings.

England’s other pairs all finished in the top seven, including Georgina Kennedy and Patrick Rooney who beat reigning Commonwealth Games champions Paul Coll and Joelle King, from New Zealand.

More medals came in the European Team Championships, in Eindhoven, at the end of April.

Men’s team gold medals were won by Waller, Rooney, Willstrop and Nathan Lake after they defeated France 4-0 in the final. The women’s team also struck gold, Perry, Kennedy and Lucy Turmel clinching a 2-1 triumph over Wales in the final.

Willstrop, who won singles gold in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and Rooney, 24, who has just broken into the world’s top 20 for the first time to become England’s number one male player, are two of the players who train with Campion on the courts at Queens.

Campion said: “It’s been a tough time for indoor sports throughout the pandemic but behind the scenes, our elite England players have worked extremely hard. With six new young debutants into the senior England teams, they have helped to deliver double gold at the European Team Championships.

“The results we had at the World Doubles Championships indicate we are on track with our preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

“Georgina Kennedy has led the charge with her meteoric rise having graduated from Harvard and ranked 168th in the world 18 months ago to her recent high of world number nine.

“The other players have been inspired by her success and responded magnificently and there have been lots of individual and team performances to be proud of in the first quarter of 2022.”

Waters, Kennedy, Turmel and Perry make-up the female contingent of England’s Commonwealth Games squad while Waller, Selby, James, Willstrop and Rooney complete the nine-strong line-up that boasts a good blend of youth and experience.

England names squash team for Commonwealth Games - read more here