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The Global Reach of the Rochester Squash Team

October 18, 2019


[Martin Heath] So the guy that’s going to
be holding the the bungee, I don’t want you standing in the corner. My name is Martin
Heath. I’m I’m from the west coast of Scotland. A place called Oban. I’m the head
sports coach of the varsity squash team. Alright, quick feet, guys. Lift up your feet. [Oscar Lopez]
My name is Oscar Lopez. I’m from Mexico City. I am the assistant coach at the University
of Rochester and I played here for four years as well. [Ryosei Kobayashi] My name is Ryosei
Kobayashi. I’m from Tokyo, Japan. [Faraz Khan] I’m Faraz Khan. I grew up in Greenwich
Connecticut and I am from Pakistani descent. Both my parents grew up there. [Oscar] My
dad use to play squash too and it’s a little bit of a rare sport as well and I just
loved it immediately as soon as as I started playing. [Ryosei] Squash is not popular in
Japan. No one knew what squash is. Their first reaction is like, “oh is it like tennis,
but in a like room or box?” [Faraz] Usually they said, “oh the vegetable you mean?”
So their reactions are always, “oh I never heard about it. Is that is that racquetball?”
[Martin] A common way of describing squash is that it’s like physical chess. You have all these
possibilities, all these different angles, a lot of ways of playing the game as well.
You are trying to finish off the point by making the ball bounce twice or forcing an
error from your opponent, but you’re having to do it in this way where you have to compete
for the same space as your opponent. So, it’s a more cerebral game. [Ryosei] First thing,
I made up my mind to come here is because of Martin Heath, the former number four player
in the world. [Martin] It was obviously a childhood dream to be a professional squash player,
for me at least. But it had this added bonus of being this incredible worldwide sport,
very small, but spread all over the world. The team is a microcosm of the experience that
I had, and I think the way the world is turning. [Oscar] This team is special. We have players
from China, Japan and Mexico. Different cultures that bring us together. We learn from each
other, different languages, different experiences and then, squash is bringing us together.
(Crowd cheering) [Martin] We have now become rivals with the the Ivy League schools. They have traditionally dominated college squash. (Clapping) It is great to play Princeton.
It’s great to host them at at Rochester. They are our rival. We have beaten them before,
but we have lost to them a lot more times than we have beaten them. [Oscar] When I was
playing we only beat them once and it was was a great year. [Ryosei] I feel the like
the level completion is very high since all of the universities coaches recruit really
good players from all over the world. Every match is exciting. (Clapping) [Martin] Alright
buddy, let’s do this. [Faraz] It’s a lot of excitement the day you play. I was playing
on the number one spot so I knew I was going to play their best player and it was pretty
nerve wracking. When you are in the moment, the nervousness fades away. I enjoy long rallies
because I am in a rhythm eventually he will get tired. So I am putting in an investment.
Even if I am tired, which I was, I know that it will pay off. [Martin] Nice. Well played. [Ryosei] One shot is my turning point. (Clapping) So I wait until the opportunity comes and just strike it. (Cheering) That moment I felt like, oh it’s my game. [Martin] You always need that turning point, that emotional moment where the crowd gets involved, the energy lifts in the room. It’s only five courts and it’s
relatively limited space. So, the noise level can get up quite a lot. The guys in the other
courts feel that. We definitely want to create that atmosphere. (Cheering) [Oscar] I think
that changed the momentum of the match where it could have gone either way but it
was a battle on every court. This win means a lot to us as coaches and as for the players as well. [Martin] It’s a job that I would do for nothing you know if I could
afford it. I can’t unfortunately, but that’s the reality and that’s
the huge motivating factor for me to stay in the job. It really is a privilege for me.

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