Reports by JOASH EE DE SILVA and N. TRISHA
PETALING JAYA: After an illustrious and trophy-laden career spanning over 20 years and being voted greatest female squash player of all time, Datuk Nicol David is about to hang up her racquet.
The 35-year-old squash queen from Penang will call time on her star-studded career when the 2018/2019 Professional Squash Association (PSA) season ends in June.
She said the decision was something she had been toying with over the past two years.
“I felt in my gut that I could only give it my best for another two years, and I wanted to give my all and train my hardest. And the two years will come at the end of June.
“I was getting into it a little bit deeper on what is to come for me in the last year-and-a-half, and it is accepting that I have to move on,” she said in a Skype interview.
However, the Penangite will continue to promote the sport and develop young talent.
“I love squash with all my heart, and it will always play an important role in my life.
“I will be sharing my story ‘Nurturing Belief’ through a series of talks and writings.
“And through the Nicol David Foundation, which seeks to empower girls through sports to reach their full potential.
“This will be refined fully in a strategic partnership with PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) to create the best structure and programme moving forward to have more girls playing sport, improve their study skills and soft skills too.”
“Throughout these next few months, I will be sharing through my ‘The Dream Remains’ campaign, everything that my life in squash has given me,” she added.
Nicol, who holds the record of winning eight World Championship titles and also being world No 1 for a total of 112 months, said retirement was a moment every athlete must go through.
“I am now at this point in my life, ready to take on more beyond the professional tour.
“My mind and body have battled it out to stay at the top of my game for such a long time that I feel I only have this last big push left for the final season, to give it all before I enter the next phase of my life,” she added.
Nicol said she will address the media on March 27 in Kuala Lumpur with details on her future plans.
“This unimaginable squash journey would not have happened without my family’s love and guidance to take me through everything!
“They are the heart of my success and right now, it is about how I can contribute to a bigger purpose to fulfil my mission in life.”
Nicol thanked her fans, supporters and followers for journeying with her.
“Keep on rooting for me through the exciting movement I am taking on for Malaysia and for squash,” she added.