Bianca Brown

Experienced Madibaz squash player Bianca Brown aims to add to a lengthy list of achievements when she competes for the varsity team in the University Sport South Africa tournament in Makhanda this month.

The 25-year-old will be a key member of the Madibaz squad as they strive to land the title against the country’s top varsities from December 10 to 13, having finished runners-up in the previous two editions.

Brown, in the second year of a master’s degree in taxation, has represented the team in seven USSA tournaments.

As with many varsity tournaments, the squash week has been on the backburner since July 2019 and Brown said she was extremely excited to get back on the court.

“It is always a privilege to be able to represent Madibaz Sport,” said Brown, who has been ranked in the USSA top-six on three occasions.

“After two straight finals in 2018 and 2019 (going down to the University of Johannesburg in each) we were incredibly disappointed to not have competed in 2020.

“We are looking forward to trying to make another final in what has been a challenging period for squash,” said Brown, who listed winning the Port Elizabeth women’s league in 2018 (their first title in 16 years) and 2019 as her most treasured memories alongside the brace of USSA finals.

Although they had lost women’s number one Hayley Ward, Brown said the personnel were relatively unchanged from the 2019 group.

Bianca Brown

Madibaz squash star Bianca Brown will be a key player for the team in the University Sport SA tournament in Makhanda from December 10 to 13. Photo: Supplied

“John Kuhn is available again this year and will be a great asset to the team at number one.”

She pointed out that the players performed well at the individual event in September, which would have boosted everyone’s confidence.

“The team are also more experienced than the squad which competed in the last two USSA weeks. We have a very good chance to again do well, despite all the challenges as a result of Covid.”

Brown, who represented SA U19 and has been a regular in the Eastern Province teams, felt that it would be important to focus on every single game.

“There are likely to be some tightly contested fixtures, which means that some results may come down to games count-outs. This means that every single game can impact the final result.

“I think we will need to be conscious of getting that one game, or not dropping one, in those tightly contested fixtures.”

Although the tournament comes outside the normal squash season, which is from April to September, Brown said they would be ready for the challenge.

“As we were made aware of the tournament potentially taking place in December, the players have still been getting onto the court.

“With the interprovincial tournament only having taken place in September this year, it delayed the whole year’s calendar. It means that the players are still in a competitive mode.”