Pontefract's Asia Harris on a tough but rewarding spell as a budding professional squash player

Pontefract's Asia Harris continues to share her experiences as one of the brightest young starlets of British squash in her new regular blog:

By Tony Harber
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 9:00 am

Since my last report I have been extremely busy and have had a lot to deal with in my personal life as well as keeping my squash up to schedule and achieving my goals.

As you may all have read in the newspapers my best friend Libby Ann Smith passed away recently due to a bone marrow transplant that took place just short of nine months ago.

It has been totally devastating for me, but has also given me strength and determination to achieve my goals for Libby. Being an athlete means you must train and compete through the times when you are feeling so down that you don’t want to do anything.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

Pontefract squash player Asia Harris has had a busy spell trying to climb the world rankings.

However, recently I played in the Surrey gold event in which I got to the final against Tori Malik, of Sussex, losing out in the final just short of two points.

It was a tough game, but it was just a shame I couldn’t have taken the last few steps.

After that I travelled to Liverpool for a PSA event in which I lost in the semi-finals narrowly, then quickly moving on to playing in Newcastle on another PSA event in which I also got knocked out in the semi-finals.

PSA events are professional squash matches in which I am building my professional ranking up as they are tougher tournaments and will help me build my career as a squash player.

At the moment I am ranked 154 in the world and it will take time to get to the top where I would like to be in the future.

My ambition is to get to world number one.

In between all these tournaments I have been training hard with my coach Nick Matthew and David Pearson.

At the start of April, I flew out with my England teammates to compete in the European Under 19s event in Eindhoven, where I stayed away for 10 days.

It was exhausting, but an amazing experience where I achieved a bronze medal in the individual event and a gold medal as part of the successful England team in the overall team competition.

This tournament is for all the European countries to come together and to see overall who the best country is.

Out of the 37 events the European Federation have held England have won 35 so it was good to keep the record going.

European tournaments are one of my favourites as you can meet friends that you haven’t spoken to in a long time and have a good catch up with them on their career plans and how they are doing.

It has been a tough couple of months for me, but I am finally readjusting to life and getting to grips with how my professional career is going.