SquashTalk>Features>Global Gallery>Special December 2 Jenny Tranfield

The Global Gallery: Views on the world of squash by Martin Bronstein

Special: Jenny Tranfield Honored as top British student sportswoman of the year for 1999.

Global Gallery Special: Nov 30, 1999   ©1999 SquashTalk

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November 30 1999, London England

Jenny Tranfield successfully mixed PhD studies with top level women’s squash



Although Cassie Campion failed to get the top award at the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Award, squash still scored when Jenny Tranfield walked off with the Student Sportswoman of the Year trophy.

Jenny, 24, has been studying for six years, and has a year to go before qualifying as a sports psychiatrist. Apart from her own exploits on the court – she is ranked 16 in the world and eight in England, – Tranfield was on hand to advise England’s Tania Bailey when she won the world Junior title in Brazil and Bailey readily acknowledges Tranfield’s help.

Last year Tranfield waltzed through an international field to win the World University squash championship singles title and is a fully paid up WISPA member, travelling the circuit while continuing her studies.


At the gilded Gibson Hall in London’s financial district, Tranfield was taken by surprise when her name was called in front of 200 sportswomen and journalists after a gourmet lunch (accompanied by two types of bubbly by Moet & Chandon, the event’s main sponsor).


"I was really shocked and surprised and also very pleased. I had no idea I was going to win the award. It’s really nice because it is very difficult playing on the circuit and you’re trying to do a Ph.D at the same time. I take my laptop all over the world and it takes so much dedication. Most squash players get on the court at ten in the morning – I’m on at half past eight every morning trying to fit everything in. And every time you have a bad result people say you can’t do a Ph.D at the same time as playing squash," she said clutching her exquisite Waterford glass vase trophy.

" I’ve got one more year and I’m hoping to progress my squash into the top ten so when I go full time I’ll be up there and have a Ph.D," she added.

Tranfield meets a qualifier in next weeks British Open in Aberdeen and if successful will face Fiona Geaves in the second round.

For Tranfield it was second time lucky – last year she reached the last four.

The titles are awarded on a combination of voting and judgement. Readers of the Sunday Times fill in voting forms which produces a shortlist. A panel of sportswomen and journalist then consider the merits of all candidates and decide the titlists.


Although Cassie Campion has had some major press coverage, it doesn’t compare with the television coverage of British athletes such as Paula Radcliffe, who won the Sportswoman of the Year title. Radcliffe won a silver medal at the World Athletics in Seville in the 10,000 metres and a European gold in the 5,000 metres.

Perhaps Cassie will have to wait until next year when she has safely tucked a British Open title under her belt to add to her world title.


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