Madeline Perry Testimonial
Irish Squash are delighted with the successful testimonial event that was hosted in Fitzwilliam LTC on Saturday November 22nd. The day started with a Junior Clinic run by Madeline and her good friend, Alison Waters (current world number 7). Six promising juniors from the Mount Pleasant stable were put through their paces by the 2 women for an intense 80 minutes. The juniors worked hard and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being coached by 2 top female athletes who were impressed by how quickly their tips were put into practice by the players.
Squash supporters from all over the country (Belfast to Castleisland) had travelled to see our most successful female player ever in action in 2 exhibition matches. Looking as fit as ever, Madeline firstly took on Sarah Jane Perry (no relation!) from Birmingham, current world number 12. It was a closely contested affair with remarkable athleticism and skilful play from both women. Our number 1 player emerged victorious in 4 sets after a genuinely competitive match.
Madeline paired up with Derek Ryan (former world number 7) against Sarah Jane and Brian Byrne (current Irish number 2) in the mixed doubles event. The first set was an amazing display of speed and agility around the court by all 4 players; the second set was highlighted by the dexterity and shot-making skills of each player. It was a truly entertaining display of top class squash and fittingly, Madeline and Derek were worthy winners.
A buffet meal was then served to a crowded dining room with entertainment in the form of goodwill messages from around the world to Madeline on video- Jenny Duncalf, Sarah Kippax, Alison Waters, Aisling Blake and Nicol David being the main contributors.
Mark Kelly, CEO of Squash Link, the charity partner for the testimonial, spoke about his aim of developing an urban squash program in Dublin which combines squash coaching with educational mentoring and support for disadvantaged schoolchildren. He thanked Madeline for her support of the charity as it kick starts its activities at ESB Sportsco in Dublin 2.
Gar Holohan, President of Irish Squash, congratulated Madeline on her stellar career: winning the 2008 British Open (beating Nicol David in the quarter finals), winning the Australian Open in 2010, reaching number 3 in the world in 2011, accumulating 15 Irish National titles and finishing with a win at her last event as a professional player, the 2015 Irish Open.
Gar then conducted an auction of sporting memorabilia, concert tickets, fine wines and much more which was well supported by local bidders and online contributions.
Finally, Madeline spoke about her pride in her achievements as a squash player which she had not given much consideration to beforehand, but was brought home to her in front of the crowd of wellwishers in attendance at the testimonial. She thanked her family and all those who had supported her throughout her career.
Thankfully, Madeline has not retired from domestic squash and will be available for selection on the Irish team for some time yet.
Irish Squash wish her every success in the next phase of her career.