Meet the Pros: Dame Susan Devoy

Robert Graham Chats to Dame Susan

Fram Gommendy reports:
Back in May, Robert Graham Santa Barbara School of Squash Executive Director, decided to start a FB page. And “Squash for Good was born.

I am a member. It’s not a big group, but I like the tone and respectful atmosphere of the discussions. Two articles caught my eye in ‘Meet The Pro’: one on Dame Susan Devoy and the other on Nick Taylor.

It’s short, well-written, and informative. It looks like SquashSite tone me thought. So, here is the first one about Dame Susan. Nick Taylor will follow soon.

Robert, you’ve been SquashSited.

Robert Graham Interviews Dame Susan

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions, Dame Susan…

1. What years did you compete professionally and what was your highest ranking?

I was on the circuit for about 11 years, No.1 from 1984 to 1992 or thereabouts.

2. Where are you from originally?

New Zealand, a small town called Rotorua.

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3. Where do you live now?

New Zealand

4. What are you doing now?

“I am semi-retired and focus mostly on voluntary positions. My intention is to travel a lot in the next few years.

“I am on the WSF Board. My goal is to contribute so that the squash fraternity is aligned and maximising the opportunity we have now that we are included in the LA 2028 Olympics.

“We have a great product, but there are issues that need addressing!

[note from Fram: Dame Susan wrote a book about her life and experiences… worth a read]

5. Do you still play?

No I don’t play anymore, too old for that.

6. Favorite tournament you played in?

Undoubtedly the British Open…those days at Wembley were special!

7. A former or current player you admire that might surprise people?

“I have the utmost respect for our Kiwis, Joelle (King) and Paul (Coll)…they have kept NZ on the world stage. Paul’s achievements are exceptional, and his ability to upskill and adapt is phenomenal. The standard is so high. Both are great ambassadors, and I know given our geographical isolation how hard it is.”

Joelle King and Paul Coll clinch Squash gold for New Zealand

8. A coach of any era you admire?

Lots of great coaches, but we need to be supporting more females.

9. Advice to an aspiring Pro?

There is no substitute for hard work!

10. Best general squash advice?

“I am probably more involved at a grass roots level now but it’s a great game and given me so many opportunities.

“And as I said after a long time trying we have to collectively ensure that we promote our game to an audience that has never seen squash before.

And Paul Johnson commented…

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Paul Johnson:

Susan was a childhood hero of mine. I grew up watching her dominate the women’s game. From the age of 14, I used to travel to Wembley Conference Centre to watch her and JK clock up British Open titles.

I finally got to meet her in person this year in Birmingham and was totally star-struck… What a character and lovely lady with so much passion for the game still!

Dame Susan’s secrets & struggles: ‘it’s all out there now’