I’m thinking of standing in a fully enclosed 31 x 21 ft. box and having a small rubber ball hurled at my head at speeds of up to 250 km/hr. Because I’m just that brave.
Or I’m choosing to play squash. The description of the game of squash may be a bit less dramatic than mine, but it’s not a sport for the faint of heart. It’s fast, challenging, and…well, there’s the issue of the high-speed ball coming at you in a court measuring 9.75m by 6.4m.
But 16-year-old Molly Chadwick is not daunted at all when it comes to the sport. She picked up squash at the age of 8 and by 11 was playing provincially. The following year she rose to the national level and has never looked back, finishing second in her age group twice, and capturing the national championship three times (including the past two years).
In May of this year, Squash Canada chose Chadwick to be one of only four members from across the country to represent Canada in the World Junior Squash Championships in Malaysia. Not only was she one of only four chosen, she beat out older players for a spot on the roster.
A Rolph Road graduate now in Grade 11 at St. Clement’s, Chadwick manages a gruelling training schedule that sees her in the gym or on the squash court six days a week, year-round. She also plays basketball for her school and for the North Toronto Huskies, all while maintaining high academic standing. Being an athlete, Chadwick says, has taught her a lot about time management skills and about using training in one sport to improve her performance in another.
Her coach, Jessica DiMauro, has trained both adults and juniors for approximately 40 years and comments that Chadwick is extremely disciplined and “mature beyond her years. Her squash intelligence is high. She understands game plans, opponents, and how to make adjustments during matches. This is a huge part of her success.”
Chadwick is part of a family, including parents Beth Pierson and Rob Chadwick, and two older sisters who, as she says, “love watching sports together” (or, as I would call it, a family with excellent priorities). A long-time Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors fan, Chadwick takes in basketball with her family along with football, tennis, golf, etc. (but not hockey; I might have to perform an intervention).
As Coach DiMauro sums up Chadwick, it’s “her fight, her tenacity, her strength, her volleys, and her dedication (that) make her the champion that she is.”
With all the talent and commitment that have propelled her to international success, Chadwick is sure to be someone her family, and many others, will be watching for years to come.