Robyn McAlpine balancing school and squash in pursuit of professional dream

Winning the under 17, under 19 and under 23 Scottish National Championships in one year, making history in doing so, is no mean feat.

After being named Junior Player of the Year 2023 at the Scottish Squash Annual Awards, Robyn McAlpine has big ambitions for the future, but what does it take to become a young squash star?

In a free moment between school and training, Robyn explained: “I’m on court twice a day six times a week, before school and after school and then I do gym sessions as well.

“I don’t keep track of how many hours I do, but I think I play about two and a half hours of squash in a day.”

Robyn’s dedication to her craft is clear, and even more impressive as she balanced an intense training schedule with her higher exams last year.

While the hard work continues in her final year at Jordanhill School, Robyn is keen to recognise the efforts the school have made to help her on and off-court.

She said: “The school have been really supportive with my squash, when I am not in class they let me train during my free periods.

“Last year was tough when I was doing my Highers, but I made a timetable and tried to stick to it as much as I could, and I was always able to balance it well.”

Robyn in Australia with her teammates at the World Junior Squash Championships in 2023.

As she approaches the end of secondary school, the Western squash ace is targeting academic success, while following her dreams of playing professional squash.

Having made a winning debut with the senior team at the European Team Championships in Helsinki, representing her country at the World Junior Championships in Australia and playing in her first PSA competitions this year, she has her sights set high.

Robyn joked: “My parents are making me go to university…”

Before adding: “I’m hoping to study Sports Science and then on court I want to be in the senior team again and I would love to play in the Olympic Games in 2028, and the Commonwealth Games in 2026.”

Many young players at Western and across Scotland look at Robyn as an inspirational figure, and someone whose path they may wish to emulate.

As a junior, Robyn knows the importance of role models and inspirational figures, and mentions a couple that have supported her development.

She said: “Lisa (Aitken) and Georgia (Adderley) have been big inspirations for me.

“When I was younger Lisa would always help me, and then as I get older Georgia has helped me out, and I can always speak to her for advice.”

The Western squash ace has set her sights on reaching the very top of the game, and as she talks about her dedication to improving and her love of the game, it is clear that she is giving herself the best possible chance of living her professional dream.

Former Scottish Squash President, Jim Hay, has kindly provided sponsorship for the Junior Player of the Year award for the period 2018-2028. As a result of this sponsorship, Robyn will receive a trophy and a cash award of £200 to help cover some of her expenses as a young squash player.

Thank you to The Fitness Group, Headline Sponsor for the Annual awards 2023.