Squash & Racquetball Team
Racquet of choice: Campeon / Takeover 160G
Following Dad to the Numurkah Squash courts when I was 10 was the best thing that ever happened to me. It started a life long addiction that has enabled me to see most of the world and given me so much!
My first racquet was a “freebie” wooden cut down racquet (I was little) that was so cool (black frame and strings). It was something I was proud of and still get the same buzz when I picked up the Manta Campeon Pro for the first time.
From Numurkah to Bairnsdale to Melbourne and Geelong after Year 12, I then got really serious and went to Switzerland and based there and then Holland always coming back to Australia for our awesome winter (not).
The people you meet and the places you go in Squash are a big highlight. I met my wife Sally who fell for my backhand cross court flick. I had to play it a few times to convince her I was the “one”.
I’m proud to represent Manta and look forward to getting the racquet out tomorrow just like I did when I was 10.
20 years experience as a Squash and Racquetball coach.
Manager of the Belmont Squash and Fitness Centre( 2008‐2012)
10 years as a World Professional Squash Player, achieving a career high World ranking of 48 in 2003.
10 years as an athlete in the Victorian Institute of Sport.
5 Times Victorian Open Squash Champion (2001/2002, 2004/2005 & 2007).
2004 World Open Doubles Squash Champion.
Won the Australian Open Men’s Squash Doubles Championship – 2007/2008.
Victorian Squash Academy coach – 2010 ‐ 2015.
Victorian State Junior Team Squash Coach – 2010 ‐2013.
Tournament Director of the Victorian Open Squash Championships – 2009/2010.
17 Times consecutively Australian Open Racquetball Champion (2001 – 2018)
Racquet of choice: Darkstar 160G
I started playing squash at the age of 9 or 10 when I was introduce to it by my mum. I started playing with Garry Pedersen who I still play racquetball with now. We are just as competitive now as we were 45 years ago. I played junior and senior pennant in Geelong. I then moved onto playing Junior State Pennant and finally Senior State Pennant in Melbourne, playing several season in State 1. In 1989 for some more experience I traveled to Canada and Europe to play squash, winning a couple of tournaments. I was also manager of the Belmont Squash Courts from 1984 to 1990.
Fast forward 15 years and after living in England for 10 years I started playing racquetball. After a few hits the hunger and passion returned and I was hooked. I began playing tournaments and now try to play every tournament available. With the help of Skel Sports / E-Force racquets and equipment I have managed to achieve some success along the way.
2011 – Ranked #2 in Australia
2015 -Geelong Lawn Tennis Club Champion
2017 –Winner Tasmanian Open Doubles
2018 –Runner Up Australian Open
2017-2018 – Ranked #1 in Australian Doubles
2018 – Winner Darwin Open
2018 – Ranked #1 in Australia
Raquet of choice: Leathal Reload 160G
I started playing squash at 18 as my family was managing Belmont Squash Courts and thought I better learn how to play the game if I am going to work there.
Continued to play squash off and on for the next 30 years, getting to State 1 and then on to Masters. Winning a few pennants and Masters age titles along the way.
May 2015, my brother (fellow Skel Sports team member Peter French) decided that despite not playing squash for 20 years that he could still beat me at squash and I decided that racquetball shouldn’t be too hard and that I would beat him. Results – win to me in Squash and win to Peter in Racquetball. A week later was the Geelong Open Racquetball tournament which I played despite not knowing the rules. One win, one loss but decided Racquetball was a great game to pay.
4 years on and the decision to focus solely on Racquetball in 2017 started playing off in 2018
2018 – Winner Wangaratta
2018 – Winter Darwin Open
2018 – Winner Tasmanian Open
2018 – Ranked #1 in Australia Womens
2019 – Winner ESRA Open
Racquet of choice: Campeon
Racquet of choice: Takeover 160G
Racquet of choice: Extreme
For as long as I can remember, the Squash courts have been my second home. My father introduced me to the sport at a young age and I haven’t looked back since.
Being an ambitious junior player, I was keen to develop my skills and play in as many tournaments as I could. Travelling as far as New Zealand in 2015 for the North Island Junior championships. I was also in the South Australian junior development squad for quite some time. Eventually, there came a time where at my local club, I was able to compete against the best there was and eventually becoming the club champion just last year.
Looking into the future, I am eager to represent the Manta brand and continue travelling interstate to play in as many tournaments as possible.
Racquet of choice: Manta Ray
Funnily enough my squash life started out when I could barely pick up the racquet and I was watching my mother play a game at our local club. It never occurred to me that this would become one of the most influential things within my life. I never really liked it at first and it was too fast for me, so I started with racquetball as a junior and played for a while but fell off when I hit high school. It wasn’t until my senior years at school and some convincing from our teacher who ran the schools squash and racquetball club that I got back into squash. As soon as I picked up that squash racquet I knew it was different this time.
As I played more and more my I started to grasp the real concept of the game. I had leaps and bounds of progress as I had a great mentor in my mother. She has been my real fundamental coach and allowed me to get a good basic game. But it wasn’t enough for me, the simplicity of it was that I was getting good and was stuck in a spot where I couldn’t progress further.
It wasn’t until I started doing some heavy work with Marc O’Brien one of our standout players that I had some real progression. It then came down to me. I was the sole reason and motivator to get me through, I’ve always had my family to guide me but it’s all been down to me. Now being with Manta Sport Australia it’s given me the opportunity and motivation to take my game to another level and to make my dream of becoming a name within squash a reality.
Racquet of choice: Extreme / Lethal Reload 160G
I first started playing Squash at the age of 10. My sister and brother were already playing after being introduced to the game from our Aunty and Uncle.
Over the years I played in the junior completion at the Warrnambool Squash and Racquetball centre, unfortunately the junior completion folded. Most remaining players moved across to the Action Squash Club junior competition, but a few of us stayed and applied our trade in the seniors.
Due to other commitments and living out of town I was only able to play one night a week. I still managed to move my way through the grades and at 18 competed in my first of many club championships final. After receiving my licence I started playing a second night a week down at Action. At 19 I competed in my first Western Districts Championship (a team event at the time), now an individual event which I have managed to win on numerous occasions. I also started playing Racquetball.
At age 20 I started committee work, soon becoming President of the WSARC. With declining numbers in town, the two clubs decided to join forces in 2008, taking up home in the Action Fitness Centre. I continued to play in our weekly completion. Due to the closure of the Action Fitness Centre at the beginning of 2014 we were left without courts to play on. After some time Timor Street was again opened with an agreement with the new owners. With Squash coming so close to folding this really revitalised my love for the sport.
These days I’m working on lifting the profile of squash in Warrnambool and encouraging our members to get out and playing as many tournaments as they can. I’m currently competing in Division One for squash, and Open Racquetball. At 33 I’ve never had so much love for the game.
Racquet of choice: Manta Ray
I was raised in Bendigo and played multiple sports before my dad introduced me to squash at the age of 13. The Bendigo squash club is such a welcoming environment and that encouraged me to continue trying to develop my game through the coaches available to me. I started playing competitively when I was 14, but started to rise through the ranks when I was 16 and reached the top grade level in Bendigo when I was 17. The squash courts are my home away from home and I always feel comfortable to play my own game no matter where I’m playing. I am very keen to continue with Manta Sports and see what lies ahead in the future.
Racquet of choice: The Gambler
Racquet of Choice: Extreme
Steven is not known for his on court performance but more for his IT performance and extra help he’s provided Skel Sports. His help is invaluable and there for he is without doubt part of the Pro Team!
Paddle of choice: The Matrix
Matt has a Bachelor of Coaching, Post Grad in Sports Science and ATPCA Masters Tennis Coaching Qualification.
Matt has been coaching Tennis and Pickleball for 10 years and have been trained by world renowned coach in Bill Beckwith.
Winner of the first Victorian Pickleball Men’s Doubles championship.
Pickleball is such a fantastic sport for all abilities and my role as Victorian Coordinator is to provide the best Pickleball coaching to help grow this fantastic sport.