Fast – rising squash sensation Ryan Gwidzima, made international headlines after winning England Squash North West Junior Under-13 boys Championships at the National Squash Centre in Manchester last weekend.Within two months of moving to England, Gwidzima, who was representing his School, Wycliffe, beat the tournament’s first seed, England’s Bailey Malik 3-1 in the final last weekend to claim his first silverware in Europe.
Gwidzima, who is the reigning U15 African Junior Champion left Zimbabwe in August to continue his education and harness his squash skills and it is anticipated he will be a professional squash player soon.
Former England Squash Young Coach of the Year and Professional Squash Association World Tour player, Josh Taylor, who is also England Squash National Performance coach, confirmed Gwidzima’s victory, together with that of the girl’s category winner Charlie McCrone.
“Congratulations to Charlie McCrone and Ryan Gwidzima on being crowned Under-13 champions at the England Squash North West Junior Championships, Manchester,” Taylor said.
His father Langton, who is based in Bulawayo was over the moon.
Langton said the showing proved his son can rise to the top echelons of the game with the right support and grooming.
“We are happy as a family. Ryan raised the country’s flag high with his exploits and I am told many are enquiring about his background and country of origin.
‘‘He started playing squash at 5. He used to join me at the squash courts in Suburbs and there was so much potential in him.
“At 12, he was playing in the men’s league and he is rated among the top 10 players in Zimbabwe. Considering his age, we opted to apply for scholarship although we have a Trust Fund to cater for some of the expenses.
‘‘Sending the youngster to Wycliffe College, we have given him the best opportunity to become a world class player.”
He added, “We are so excited of his achievement within a month in Europe. We thought he will struggle to settle but his victory proved us wrong. We have also received a good report on his academic exploits.”
Gwidzima started playing squash at Suburbs Squash Club in Bulawayo, where he was coached by his father Langton.
Wycliffe College is one of the best private schools in England situated in the Cotswolds, and has an “Elite Squash Squad” at the school, and Ryan will be in this squad.
This year the school won the Under 19 and U15 Boys National Schools Championships, as well as the U19 Girls National Schools coming runner-up. In the Under 15 age group Wycliffe has been particularly successful.
At Wycliffe College, Gwidzima is expected that he will develop into a world class player.
With assistance of the Promise Ncube chaired Ryan Gwidzima Trust, Gwidzima is expected to proceed to high school at the same institution.
Speaking to our sister paper The Sunday News before his departure, Gwidzima was excited about going to England as he believes that will improve his chances of becoming a professional squash player.
“I am really excited, I just hope I am going to do my best, let’s hope I am gonna enjoy there. I want to go there and work hard and be a better person in life. I want to be a professional squash player,’’ Gwidzima said.