DUGGAN'S GAMES TRIBUTE TO SPORT ENGLAND
Tom Duggan, ESR’s Interim Head of Coaching and Performance, today paid tribute to Sport England for helping make the Glasgow Commonwealth Games the most successful ever for English squash in terms of medals won.
Their tally of nine – from one gold, five silver and three bronze – was two more than their previous best, achieved at squash’s Games debut in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and at Manchester four years later.
However, without the funding and support of Sport England, Duggan stressed that none of this would have been possible.
“The funding we receive from Sport England is critical to the players producing results such as these," he said. "A case in point is the strong relationship we have been able to develop with the English Institute of Sport.
“Without the services of the world-class physio and medical teams it wouldn’t have been possible to return world champion Nick Matthew, a singles gold medallist and men’s doubles silver medallist in Scotland, to full fitness following his knee surgery five weeks before the Games.
“Winning nine out of the 12 squash medals available in Glasgow is an outstanding achievement by the players and the culmination of a lot of hard work. They have all been a credit to themselves and ESR and have showcased the sport in the best possible light on the world stage.”
Duggan pointed out that the hard work and effort put in by Team England’s squash coaches and support staff were also crucial to the squad’s success.
“When the preparation phase for the Games started in earnest in August 2013, the management team said we wanted the team to arrive in Glasgow as the best-prepared squash team ever to give us a chance of surpassing the achievements of Delhi in 2010,” he added.
“Whilst it’s the players who win the medals and rightly get the plaudits, they would be the first to acknowledge the role the coaching and support team have played in this achievement.
“Chris Robertson and David Campion were flat out last week with the amount of matches England were involved in and have done a tremendous job preparing the team, while Louise Pickford, as Team Manager, did an outstanding job of managing the operational side of things to enable the players and coaches to solely focus on the performances.
“Finally, our performance analyst, Gareth Chappell, and physio, Jade Leeder from the English Institute of Sport, have both made massive contributions behind the scenes and have been integral to the coaching and support team.
“None of our success would have been possible, though, without the continued funding made available through Sport England and the National Lottery. Funding is one thing, but the continued support provided by Sport England, in particular Emyr Roberts and Heather Taylor, is invaluable and immeasurable.”