By Sean Devers
Born on April 3, 2006 in Brooklyn New York to Roslyn Verwey and Owen Verwey, 13-year-old Nicolas Verwey recently reached the final of Lucozade Handicap Squash at the Georgetown Club in Guyana and put on an excellent performance.
Looking at Verwey and Mikey Alphonso play reminds me of when I first saw Shomari Wilshire and had no doubt that he would become the Caribbean Squash Champion. If Nicolas continues to progress at the rate he is going now and remains focused on his squash, I have no doubt that he is not far from making his wish a reality.
“If I had one wish it would be to win a junior Caribbean title” said the talented Nicolas, whose only brother; 11-year-old Joshua plays in the U-12s. Nicolas interest in squash began when he returned home in 2016.
“After returning to Guyana in 2016 my uncle who played squash since his high school days, introduced me to the sport and I found it very fascinating” informed Nicolas who resides at 12 John Street, Campbellville.
The youngster who attends Marian Academy has been playing squash for two and a half years and first represented Guyana in the Junior CASA 2018-Caribbean Area Squash Association in Jamaica in the Boys U13 where he placed fifth.
Nicolas informed that his next goal is to be ranked in top 10 in this year’s Canadian and USA Junior Open Championships to be held in Niagara, Canada and Boston USA in December.
“My favourite player is Paul Coll from New Zeeland who is ranked number five in the world. I especially admire when he is under pressure, he reaches around the court easily and uses lobs and hard hits to retrieve the ball. He is very also good at holding the T position and very aware of his opponents’ position so he is able to place the ball in the opposite direction.” explained Nicolas.
He also understands in the value of a solid academic foundation. “I try my best when I’m at squash to focus at squash and squash only and at school try not to let anything distract me so I can excel in both squash and academics.”
Nicolas has not decided what he wants do for a living when he gets older. “Being 13, I am still deciding my options, however I am leaning toward a career in the sporting sector” the young sportsman disclosed.
Whenever Nicolas and his younger brother are playing their parents are always there supporting, encouraging and influencing their children to play hard but fair. Verwey spoke about how this helps him to remain disciplined and focused on his game.
“My mom and dad are my biggest supporters; they attend every match and always keep motivating me. They also ensure I can attend practice and training sessions. My squash friends assist with drills, feeding the balls and playing friendly games. My Coaches pass along valuable experiences and tips to improve my game.” disclosed Nicolas, who is coached by Carl Ince and Deje Dias.
Nicolas represented Guyana in Jamaica 2018 in the Boys U-13 and Trinidad 2019 in the Boys U-15. He also played for the Individual ranking in Canada last year. Nicolas’ favorite shot is the straight valley drop.
“That shot works my opponent to the front of the court and if the shot is so good, they won’t be able to retrieve it. If they do get it back, they will play a loose return and I can keep the pressure on.” said Nicolas, whose hobbies outside of squash is basketball in which he represents his School in the U-14 Division.
“I train six days per week. Two days I do individual sessions with coaches, one day I participate in squad training and the other three days I train with junior and senior players. I rest for one day.” Nicolas said.
“In five years’ time, I would like to accomplish having a Caribbean title, International title and hold a junior world ranking in squash. By that time, I also hope to be in a University playing on the squash team and studying in my field of interest”
Young Nicolas said he would like to see the players getting more international exposure and experience so as to improve their game. He would also like to see the availability of more Squash Courts, facilities and more young people getting involved in the sport.
For fun Nicolas likes going to movies with his friends, watching horror movies and doing sleepovers. “I am thankful for my parents, family, coaches, friends and teammates who has supported me so far” Nicolas concluded.
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