Pro-File: Jamie Sutcliffe

I first picked up a squash racquet when I was ten years old at the Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club where the coaches Matthew Thorpe and Andy Learoyd inspired me to get to where I am today. Huddersfield is located in the heart of Yorkshire, which is known as one of the best English counties for squash. Top players such as Nick Matthew, James Willstrop and Lee Beachill—all former world No.1s—have represented the county.

Something most people don’t know about me is that I was actually born in Blantyre, Malawi. I moved to Huddersfield when I was four years old. I’m half Kiwi and I’ve played rugby at a high level. In addition to squash and rugby, I’m a very passionate soccer fan and my favorite team is Everton FC.

As a junior I represented Yorkshire in the Inter Counties at all groups. We dominated each year to become national champions. After my junior career, I went on to win the National College Individual Championships before having a spell on the PSA tour, which was unfortunately cut short due to injury.

Five years ago I moved to the Squash Alley in Stamford, Connecticut. My knowledge of the game has gone from strength to strength. Damien Walker provided me with the opportunity and taught me a lot about the game and the type of work ethic that both players and coaches need. During my time there, I worked with some of the top juniors in the U.S. and have since moved on to working with one of the top high school girls’ squash programs in the nation, Greenwich Academy.

Greenwich Academy provided me with the opportunity to coach their school programs alongside Luke Butterworth, who I have known since our junior days back in Huddersfield. It’s been an honor to work with such dedicated athletes at GA and to win the program’s tenth national title last season. It was a major achievement for the girls and something I’m very proud to be a part of.

Last year I became part of the US Squash National Program by joining the Connecticut regional squads. Working with the region’s top players has been something that inspired me to further my passion for coaching. I have since gone on to coach at the US Squash Academy and more recently at the Battle of the Border where we regained the trophy against Canada. US Squash is proving to be a true powerhouse in the world of squash. The set-up for the U.S. national team provides juniors with the perfect steps and direction to take their game to the highest level. It’s such an exciting program and a great time to be a part of squash in the U.S.

My proudest moment as a coach is a close call between winning the national title with Greenwich Academy and seeing the juniors that I coach play in their first tournaments. Squash coaching is a very rewarding job and is something I’m privileged to be able to do.