British Under-23 champion to concentrate on growing junior squad at Chapel Allerton
By MIKE DALE – Squash Mad Correspondent
Former European junior champion Carrie Ramsey has retired from the WSA Tour at the age of 23.
Leeds-based Ramsey has taken the decision after months of deliberation as her world ranking hit a plateau in the 50s and her frustration grew over her form, finances and relentless travelling.
Although she will continue to play in the Yorkshire League and in the PSL, Ramsey’s passion for coaching juniors at her club, Chapel Allerton, has come to surpass her enjoyment of playing professional squash.
She told squashmad.com: “Really it came down to a question of, ‘How long do you keep going at 50-odd in the world, waiting for that breakthrough that everyone tells you you’re going to have?’
“I’ve been getting more and more frustrated with that and it becomes a vicious circle – the more frustrated you get, the more pressure you put on yourself. It’s just become unenjoyable.
“I really think I could’ve done better if I’d stuck with it for two more years. I could have maybe got top 30 in the world. But it’s money as well. There’s little reward for squash players. It’s a financial burden, and then there’s travelling all the time.
“Part of me wants to settle down and be in the country most of the year. That allows you to do so much more. I was all over the place. I was coaching at the club but having to find cover all the time, which was really stressful.
“I just kept it all to myself really. I didn’t really share how I was feeling because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about it. My mum was aware of it though. She could tell I wasn’t very happy.”
Even some last-ditch clinics with the world-renowned coach David Pearson in Harrogate were not enough to change Ramsey’s mind.
“DP was someone a little bit different and new and I really enjoyed it. The stuff he’s told me is totally invaluable. I’ll take that with me always, but unfortunately it was just too late. The enjoyment and the passion had gone for my own game,” Ramsey reflected.
Just a few weeks ago, Ramsey won the British U23 Championship at the third time of asking – “It was really nice to finish on a high and have that to my name.”
Her European U19 title in 2010 and her appearances on the glass court in Manchester at the British Nationals will remain her most treasured highlights. She reached a career-high 59 last July but has since dropped to 64.
Now, Ramsey will concentrate fully on developing the junior programme at Chapel Allerton. Situated in a lively, leafy suburb of Leeds, she loves the club and the lifestyle living nearby.
“I’m really passionate about Chapel A and the juniors there and I absolutely love the area. Now it’s really nice, I can spend my time here and do a lot of things that in the past I’ve had to hold back on.
“There’s quite a lot of opportunities at the club. People were asking me for coaching and I had to turn them away. Now I can do whatever I want. It’s lovely.”
Picture courtesy of England Squash and Racketball