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NEWS

The British Open Championships

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The Christmas Holidays - a time for resting and enjoying time with family. Many people eat, sleep, watch TV and repeat. Of course, I had my fair share of that, but my Christmas holiday was busier than most. I had a routine where my sisters and I would wake up early every day and go for squash training and afterwards have the remainder of the day to ourselves. The reason for this routine was to prepare for the biggest tournament of the year that was held in the last week of the Christmas Holidays - The British Junior Open. In this tournament thebest juniors from around the world compete to see who is the best in every age group.

Before the BJO, my sisters and I participated in two smaller tournaments in order to get used to the tournament feel. We played in the Connaught Junior Open in Essex and the Mote Junior Open in Kent. In both I played in the Bu13 category and even though I did win both for BU13, it wasn't always particularly easy and I had to dig deep to pull through. In the Mote Junior open I also played in the BU17 event which was very good practice for the BJO as in BU17 the rallies are long and everyone hits the ball hard.

As per usual, the British Open was held in Birmingham, with players split up into 4 clubs: The University of Birmingham; the Edgbaston Priory Club; Solihull and Arden and West Warwickshire. I played most of my matches in the Edgbaston Priory Club. Even though I have played this tournament twice before, this year was the first year that I played only international players. I played boys from Malaysia, Brazil, the USA, France and Saudi Arabia. I played the Malaysian in the first round to whom I lost by a large margin. I felt that I could have done better, but the match was also a good learning expe rience as I got to see the difference between the top 10 in England and the top 10 in the world. After that match I beat the Brazilian number 1 and came up against an American boy. The match was tight and I played some of my best squash, but in the end I wasn't able to pull through and narrowly lost 3 games to 1. After that I played the French and Saudi number 1s to earn myself 41st place in the world for BU13. The tournament has been a great learning journey for me and I know what I need to improve on in order to beat the people in front of me. During the tournament, I met a lot of new people and made some new friends with the French, Brazilian and Saudi boys who I played.Normally I would not be the only Wilsonian at the BJO as I am not the only Wilsonian who plays squash to a high standard, but this year I was the only one. I look forward to seeing my Wilson's teammates in school and at future tourna ments.

When I got back to school the support I got from my friends was great. Even though I came far from winning , hey still congratulated me for my achievement. I am now back on court training and I look forward to playing in future tournaments.

Article by Thomas, 8G
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