A Promising female squash player has received sponsorship from a Yorkshire outdoor adventure business.
Lisa Aitken of Harrogate, who is currently ranked No 1 in Scotland and No 38 in the world, has received the financial support of Log Heights based in Ripley.
Lisa, 23, has played squash since the age of nine, enjoying a successful junior career winning every national title in every age group from under 11 to under 19’s. She also reached No 1 in Europe twice. Since turning professional, Lisa now travels across the world participating in tournaments, playing 12-15 tournaments per year when funding permits.
Lisa needs to secure annual sponsorship in excess of £10,000 which would enable her to meet the demands of world class competitions, paying for travel to national/ international competitions, coaching sessions, a sports nutritionist, along with strength and conditioning coaches.
Local businessman James Gaston, owner of Log Heights which is an outdoor teambuilding activity centre based at Ripley Castle has recently sponsored Lisa. James is a keen squash player and met Lisa at the club where he plays regularly and is appealing to other local businesses to join him.
I’m conscious of the financial difficulties athletes face. Many talented sportsmen and woman give up their dreams due to the costs and lack of funding. I’m hoping more local businesses will join me in supporting Lisa in her forthcoming tournaments as it offers some great promotional opportunities. Lisa is extremely dedicated to the sport and I’m looking forward to seeing her progression this year in forthcoming tournaments.
Lisa has reached a career high of 38 in the world rankings and reached two quarter final positions in mixed and womens doubles at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Lisa has set her sights on returning to the Commonwealth Games in 2014 with the aim of winning Gold in both of these events.
Sir Thomas Ingilby of Ripley Castle said:
Lisa has already achieved a lot in her career, but every young sportsman and woman needs assistance on the route to success. With the help and encouragement of Log Heights, which encourages people to scale new heights with confidence, her career could really take off. For Log Heights it’s a leap of faith: for Lisa it’s a chance to fly – all credit to both.
I am absolutely delighted Log Heights are able to support me this year. Without sponsorship I would not be able to travel and compete in international tournaments which give me an amazing opportunity to improve my world ranking. My next few tournaments are in Malaysia, Ireland, Texas, England and France in June. Later in the year there are events in America, India and Australia which I hope to compete in. With the kind help of sponsors such as James, I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today, I hope this can continue.
Lisa chose to base herself in Harrogate so she could be closer to her coach David Pearson, who is the ex England National coach and coach to world number 1 Nick Matthew.
I am training 6 days a week, doing two sessions per day, whether it’s on court or in the gym. I am fortunate to have some of the worlds best players on my doorstep allowing me to train on a daily basis with players which include Jenny Duncalf, Sarah Kippax, Madeline Perry and Emma Beddoes.