December 23, 2022 | in NUSF news
For South African squash player Tristen Worth, life is all about balance. But the weights on his weight are not an easy burden to bear – a chance to become a professional squash player and get a PhD!
Born with a squash racket in his hand, Worth claims he started playing the sport at the age of two, following his father’s interest in the sport. The King Williams Town native started taking the sport more seriously at the age of 10 when his natural talent was revealed.
Ranking first in South Africa at every junior level from U13 to U19, he enrolled at North-West University and is currently in his second year of undergraduate studies in Physiology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, all the while continuing his passion for sport.
All photos courtesy of Tristen Worth“I often sacrifice a lot of sleep and will have to sacrifice training from time to time as my studies are my priority, but in general it’s not easy to reconcile studying with playing squash at a high level,” he admits.
Often traveling hundreds of miles to neighboring cities to train and compete, Worth competed in three different ranking tournaments before being selected to represent South Africa at the recent FISU World University Championship Squash in New Giza 2022, Egypt.
Place 265p In the world, Worth made it through the group stage and scored a memorable three-set victory over French opponent Edwin Clain, finishing 157 places ahead of him en route to the quarterfinals and a commendable 5th place in the world.p place in the general classification.
Off the pitch, the 20-year-old says he enjoyed the tournament very much and left Egypt with some lessons.
“I really enjoyed the experience in Egypt, the competition was very strong, there were many friendly people from different countries and the tournament was well organized.
“I also knew a few people from other tournaments with whom I had the opportunity to catch up.
“I have definitely seen physicality become an increasingly demanding aspect of squash, and mental strength is definitely the separating factor in many matches. I also found some small areas to work on in my game, which is always helpful.”
Returning home from a solid tournament in North Africa, Worth already has medium to long-term goals set as he wants to continue his balance between study and sport.
“My goal is to work on my game to be in the top 150 in the world next year and also to finish in the final of the national championship,” he says.
“Long term, I’d like to try squash and maybe get into the top 50, but I also want to do a PhD in chemistry.”