“The media, locally and internationally, have been very supportive of my squash career and I am thankful to all their contributions.”
By Kng Zheng Guan and Alex Wan – Squash Mad Asian Correspondents
Eight-time world champion and a true Malaysian legend Nicol David, had a little special treat for the Malaysian media as she took time out from her hectic schedule to host the Malaysian media. The event was attended by about 30 people, including former PSA touring professional Sharon Wee and established sports-emcee Ben Ibrahim.
Since the announcement of her retirement in February, the Malaysian media has been buzzing around for opportunities to speak to Nicol, but due to her travelling, not many have had the opportunity. The event was aptly held at the Equatorial Hotel, who has long been one of Nicol’s sponsors – since she was a budding junior.
“The media, locally and internationally, have been very supportive of my squash career and I am thankful to all their contributions,” Nicol had said.
It was an encouraging session with almost all the mainstream media in Malaysia – from print, digital and broadcast stations, were present for a sharing session with Nicol.
It was a light and easy sharing session with Nicol, and for a change, even had a rare moment to ask members of the press some questions.
Nicol, who was an undisputed world number one for nine years, also took the opportunity to shed more light about her future plans.
There are three projects in which Nicol plans to immerse herself in starting with:
1) The Nicol David Foundation where she plans to help girls realise their potential through sports but starting with squash. A year ago, Nicol appointed global professional services firm Price Waterhouse (PwC) Malaysia as the strategic consultant to setup and manage the foundation.
2) The Professional Squash Association (PSA) in which she plans to further spread the awareness of squash around the globe and to assist in continuing raising the bar of the game especially for the women’s tour.
3) Setting out on a sharing campaign as speaker and writer through a motivational series called ‘Nurturing Belief’ where she shares about her learnings, practices and experiences as a world champion athlete and role model.
As part of the campaign launch, Nicol also offered a special preview of her ‘Power’ themed trailer. That video is now available on her Facebook page.
Nicol also explained that her motivational series will be centered around three values – power, determination and heart. It is meant to encapsulate her passion, mission, goals, experiences and will be the stories she will share henceforth.
“I was thinking about this decision to retire from squash about a year and a half ago. I realised I needed the time to prepare myself for my next journey,” said Nicol.
Besides that, Nicol also shared her thoughts about squash’s Olympic dream and the possibility of her taking up coaching.
“Squash has been trying to get into the Olympics for a long a time and we’ve really come a long way since,” said Nicol.
“Right now though, I think we really just want to focus on developing the sport even first. This is because we don’t know when we’ll fit the criteria for the Olympics as it changes every time.
“As for coaching, I’ll probably get involved in some way with my foundation. I would love to consult and to assist the national team in any way possible because it is part of me giving back to Malaysia.
“But I also see that as a full-time job and I have so many projects planned out that I don’t think I’ll be able to commit solely to just one thing,” added Nicol.
For now though, Nicol still has four more tournaments before she finally hangs up her racquet for good. She will next compete in the DPD Open in Eindhoven, Holland from April 9-14.
Pictures courtesy of a18sports.com