Fast and furious

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Dr-Willard-LeeDr Willard Lee of Carlingford, NSW, has been playing competitive squash for the past 16 years

“I play squash three times a week and complement it with light weight training, stretching exercises and an eight-kilometre run. This fitness regime helps balance out the muscles you use. If you keep just using the same muscles repetitively then you become more prone to injury.”

“These days, the hardest part is keeping up physically with the younger athletes. Some of them travel from all over NSW and even interstate to compete. I’m 40 now and have been playing for 16 years so I frequently find myself up against younger, very fit players. Mind you, I’m hoping to improve my game over the next three to five years. I’ve had some lessons from one of the world’s champions, Geoff Davenport. The lessons with him really helped to fine tune my shots.

“I first started playing squash on a regular basis during the last year of university. I entered a competition with a fellow dental student and loved it. Currently, I play in Division 1 of the Northern Districts Sydney pennant competition.

“My best result was winning the NSW Open A-grade tournament in 2011. I was also runner-up at an A-grade tournament early in 2012 in Sydney. In the team format, I have won over half a dozen pennants at varying levels.

“Squash is a fantastic sport, requiring speed, endurance, patience and racquet skills. An hour on court is more than enough to get a really good workout. I love the speed and the fitness required to play the game. It’s also an excellent physical outlet after a long day leaning over patients.

“Dental work isn’t that physically intensive so it’s great to have a really good bash on the courts.Squash is played rain, hail or shine. There’s never any excuse to interrupt the schedule and playing in a team gives you a regular commitment where your team mates rely on you.

“The last three years has seen the Australian Squash Open held in Canberra. I have travelled down each year to watch the world’s elite. Although they’re a few worlds away from my own game, it’s inspiring to watch the best competitors battle it out. There are a few other dentists who compete in the Sydney pennant tournament. It’s always great to catch up with them, and on rare occasions, talk dentistry.”

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