Local pro squash player gets nation building cash

| 09/03/2012

Premier Cameron cheque (232x300).jpg(CNS): Professional local squash player Cameron Stafford has been given cash from the government’s ‘Nation Building Fund’ to train and participate in ten tournaments back to back in Australia, government officials have revealed. GIS said in a release that Stafford aims to raise his world rankings, so he can graduate to the big, prestigious tournaments with his ultimate goal to be the world number one. Starting at 408, in the last five months his world ranking has increased to 239. The 2011 Caribbean under-19 squash champion and Island Games silver and bronze medallist has been given US$ 11,500 and says he looks forward to making his country proud by improving his game.

The premier handed over the grant cheque to Cameron recently stating he was very proud of the “rising star” who he said joined “a praiseworthy group of world-class young Caymanian sportspersons,” as he added that it was “precisely for such instances” that the Nation Building Fund was created.

“One has only to see Cameron play or even speak about squash to recognise his potential and dedication to his game,” McKeeva Bush said. “Squash is a demanding sport, requiring peak physical fitness. I wish Cameron the very best in his efforts to consolidate his ranking, technique and skills in the coming months.”

Stafford’s prior victories include two Caribbean junior champion trophies, the regional under-17 gold as well as helping the Cayman boys’ team garner the team gold. He says he now hopes to improve his game, so he can qualify to play in the New York tournament which he considers one of the best in the world. His anticipates his participation there will be all the more sweet since the Cayman Islands is one of the silver sponsors of the tournament.

Before finding his niche with squash Stafford tried his hand at cricket, football, baseball, sailing and tennis. Since he turned 13, he as dedicated mush of his day to playing, viewing and learning about squash. Stafford credits his success so far to his dad John Michael Stafford, originally from Guyana and a former Olympian in sailing, his Caymanian mom Janie and his ex-coach Dean Watson, who at one time was ranked 81st, worldwide, as a squash player.

The Cayman Islands Squash Club was a second home to Stafford as he worked on his game, attended a number of world tournaments, and witnessed first-hand how the pro-tour works before deciding to join it. “I thought long and hard about going pro and am totally grateful that my parents backed me all the way,” he revealed.

His local coach found him another coach in Amsterdam, a city he considers one of the best places to train in squash. Grateful to all who supported him to become a top athlete, Stafford said his thanks go especially to the CI National Squash Association, Coach Glenn Stark for helping him prepare for the ten tournaments ahead, his new manager Amanda Stark and Mark Hennings of Cayman Contractors“because without these people this trip wouldn’t be possible.”

You can follow Cameron and his playing on Twitter@squashpro92 and on Facebook by clicking on the like bar on his page: Cameron Stafford Athlete.

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  1. Anon 1.0 says:

    proud of u!