PDBY spoke to Sandile Masondo from TuksSquash.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Sandile Masondo. I was born in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal. I’m a former learner at Parktown Boys High. I’m currently studying BEd at the University of Pretoria.
To someone who doesn’t know what squash is, how would you explain the sport to them?
It is tennis in a room but instead of hitting the ball over a net, you hit the wall.
When did you start with the sport and what sparked your interest in the sport?
I started [playing] squash around grades 4 and 5 with my friends. It was more of a social thing where we would go and have fun when playing the sport. I developed an interest in the sport when I saw older guys playing very well and I wanted to be like them. I asked them to show me how to play better and they were amazed with how I was only 11 years old but I’m able to ask them to help me out. To this day, I’m still friends with some of them and they also give me advice.
What other hobbies do you have?
I used to draw pictures and play chess when I was still at school. But now I just watch anime and meet up with my friends to refresh from schoolwork and squash.
What competitions have you participated in so far?
As a junior, I participated in all the provincial and national tournaments. From the beginning of last year, I have been participating in the senior ones such as the Gauteng Open (Northerns and Central), South African Nationals, Growthpoint Inter-Provincials and the GP Grand Prix.
How has COVID-19 affected your training and matches?
Most of the time, I would normally spend time on the court working on my skills.
Who do you look up to in the sporting world and why?
I look up to Ramy Ashour because he is a skillful and disciplined player. He always has a smile on his face.
What is your motto?
“If you’re going to do something, give it your all”
What is next for you?
I’m going to finish my degree and work on being a professional squash player.