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Low gets high teaching Phl squash players

Malaysian squash coach Wee Wern Low has grand plans for Philippine squash. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Wee Wern Low/FB

New Philippine national squash team head coach Wee Wern Low wants the players to be more cerebral when they compete internationally.

Low, a former world No. 5 squash player, told DAILY TRIBUNE in a conversation that she is doing this not just for the players to get better but to help them get more competitions and participate in more professional squash tournaments.

The Malaysian squash veteran announced her appointment last March.

“I think that we have a dedicated group of players and coaches so the thing is trying to change the system up a little and getting them to understand the fundamentals of training and how to be a professional. Which includes, nutrition, recovery and all that stuff that not a lot of people know about,” Low said.

“So it is giving them a good idea of what it’s like to be a professional athlete.”

Low is high in experience.

She placed second in the 2014 Women’s World Team Squash Championships in Canada where she, Nicol David, Delia Arnold and Zulhijjah Binti Azan made it to the final before falling short to England, 0-3, 3-0, 1-3.

The 33-year-old Low also plucked two bronze medals in the 2010 and 2012 editions of the World Team Championships and even got gold medals in the team category of the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games.

Low said their priority for the year will be the 2024 Southeast Asia Cup this year at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex as they aim to get medals in the tournament.

National team players David William Pelino, Reymark Begornia and Jonathan Reyes will be competing in the MARIGOLD 2024 SGSquash PSA Satellite 1 from 11 to 14 April while Jemyca Aribado will be in Hong Kong for the HK Squash PSA Challenge Cup from 9 to 12 April.

“I think the closest to us will be Singapore, and maybe Indonesia. Our goal is to have a couple of medals for the SEA Cup and hopefully match Malaysia,” Low said.

She also admitted Singapore approached her to help their program but ultimately chose the Philippines as a way for her to give back to the sport that made her what she is today.

“It was a tossup between Singapore and the Philippines. I think I sort of resonated with the condition here in the Philippines. I came from a humble beginning myself so I know what it’s like to have squash as the only thing that gives me a chance at a better life,” Low said.

“The players are working hard to excel and have a chance at a career playing squash, which has not happened before because not a lot of players from the Philippines can make a living playing professional squash. My goal is to try to achieve that so that they can have a chance of playing professional squash and making it a career as well.”

Philippine Squash Academy president Robert Bachmann even admitted they were grateful that the squash great agreed to help Kayod Pilipinas improve their skills.

“Singapore offered her first. When I was told that she was available, we approached her and the conversations went smoothly and sought first the approval of the Philippine Sports Commission,” said Bachman, who is also the Southeast Asian Squash Federation president.

“Obviously the offer from Singapore was higher but it was not about money for her. It’s about giving back to the less fortunate and uplifting the lives of squash players in the Philippines.”

Pelino, one of the national team players, said they’re always excited to soak in all the teachings Low shows them during their training.

“She gives good advice. Back then, we would usually hit the ball hard. She taught us about ball control and directing it to the corner,” Pelino said.

“All the things she taught us are based on her experience so we’re excited about the things she would teach us.”

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