A FORMER St Ivo School pupil has set her sights on becoming one of the top squash players in the world. Carrie Anne Hastings, 22, is already ranked inside the top 110 female squash players in the world and has set her sights on the top 60. Hastings told T
A FORMER St Ivo School pupil has set her sights on becoming one of the top squash players in the world.
Carrie Anne Hastings, 22, is already ranked inside the top 110 female squash players in the world and has set her sights on the top 60.
Hastings told The Hunts Post she has turned to playing men in training because there is not enough top-class competition for her in Cambridgeshire.
The Hemingford-based athlete said: "I have just started my full summer training schedule - the first tournament is due in September.
"I believe there is every chance that I can reach the world's top 60 by this time next year and that is the very minimum I want to achieve."
Hastings has just finished a sports degree at Birmingham University and believes that completing her course will allow her the time she needs to focus on her sport.
Hastings has been playing squash seriously for the last six years having tried other sports including tennis, badminton and athletics, but squash was the one sport that captured her imagination.
With her family heavily involved with Hemingford Squash Club, Hastings admits she had a head-start in her early development.
She said: "I soon found that I was doing really well and began to take the sport more and more seriously."
In February, Hastings made the semi-finals of the Swedish Open before being knocked out by fellow Englishwoman, and world number 30, Sarah Kippax.
Last November saw Hastings reach the semi-finals of the Rotterdam Open where she fell to Dutchwoman Karen Kronemeyer, also ranked in the world's top 50.
She said: "International competitions are tough but they are a great learning curve."
Hastings is still a member at the Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham to enable her to get top quality female competition during practice, while at home she relies on top male players around the Cambridge area to push her abilities to the limit in training.
Hastings will be part of the professional Hunts County Hemingford Squash Club team that gets under way in September. She said: "The team will be playing matches across the country against other professional teams. We will play men and women from the top of the rankings which is something that will benefit my game."
Hastings, who is currently ranked at 108 in the world, said she relies on sponsorship to keep competing, with the likes of sportswear companies Prince, Techo and Superfeet offering support.
INFORMATION: Carrie Hastings is looking for additional sponsorship to enable her to continue competing. Anyone interested should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org