Adrian’s journey from tough London estate to world team champ
By SIMON REDFERN (Courtesy of England Squash and Racketball)
Adrian Grant this week released a video which he hopes will motivate other people originating from rough backgrounds to follow his lead and make a career out of squash.
The 33-year-old world no.20 has joined forces with Lewis Scott, Managing Director at Exclusive Sports Media to produce ‘The Journey’, a four-minute clip which relates how he has developed from a child on one of London’s toughest estates into a world team champion.
“We saw there were a lot of specific squash training videos out there, so we wanted to do more of an inspirational video with my story, which can be used not only in squash but for all sports, ages, colours and genders,” Grant explained.
“We want it to inspire and motivate, whatever you pursue, and to highlight that it really doesn’t matter where you’re from. Anything is possible if you have that determination and surround yourself with positive people.
“I mention people who have helped me on my journey. For example, my parents worked hard to fund my junior career. Me and my Dad used to sleep in his Ford Sierra in the club car park, because we couldn’t afford a hotel. I owe them a lot – just like the others I thank in the video.
“I was brought up on the Aylesbury Estate in Peckham, South London, which is soon to be knocked down by the council. We went back there to film a scene and it was overwhelming going back and seeing old faces.
“It was tough growing up there, seeing a lot at a young age, but I also had some fun times. I was worried about our filming equipment at one point!”
Richie Fallows, the 18-year-old from Stratford in East London, who won a world junior bronze medal last year, appears in the video towards the end with Grant.
“Richie is a good kid with bags of potential,” said the 2010 Commonwealth Games doubles gold medallist. “We have a good synergy on and off court. I help him when he needs it and I’d help any of the younger guys if they asked.
“It’s what I did when I was their age – plus Richie fitted well with the video. We needed someone who looked similar to me and even his Dad got us mixed up once!”
However, despite his involvement with ESM, an online sports platform, Grant has no intention of hanging up his squash racket just yet.
“I love what I do,” he explained. “I’m always looking at ways to improve my game and I’ve got a good life balance.”
Here’s the link to Grant’s video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bjnGUcM20w