Northern Rivers athlete Ryan Cuskelly will represent Australia in squash at the Commonwealth Games.
Northern Rivers athlete Ryan Cuskelly will represent Australia in squash at the Commonwealth Games.

Ryan off to Commonwealth Games

COUNTLESS hours spent glassed into steaming squash courts has paid off for Ryan Cuskelly, who yesterday was named in the Australian team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The 23-year-old, whose allegiance is split between Evans Head and Lismore, is one of five men selected to represent Australia at the Games.

Ranked No 43 in the world, Cuskelly just sneaked into the fourth spot on the roster – the fifth is a travelling reserve – ahead of world No 44 Australian Aaron Frankomb.

“It’s is an amazing achievement,” Cuskelly said.

“The Commonwealth Games is about as big as it gets for squash players worldwide.”

Cuskelly will team up with Yamba’s Cameron Pilley to tackle the doubles in Delhi and there is an air of confidence about the pair.

“We make a good team, myself and Cameron,” Cuskelly said.

“We know each other pretty well and we have played a few tournaments together, which is a bonus.

“I reckon we are a pretty good chance of sneaking a medal.”

Last month Cuskelly and Pilley tackled a Commonwealth nations tournament in Manchester where they got a feel of what to expect in Delhi.

Our boys fell to the world’s top-ranked pair, Englishmen Nick Matthew and Adrian Grant, in their semi-final to log third place.

With a few months working together the Far North Coast couple should be able to up their game another notch – their left and right hand combination is invaluable.

But there is plenty of work to be done on the squash circuit as well.

A week of training in Sydney will be followed by the Australian Open in Canberra followed by Commonwealth Games squad camp in Melbourne followed bya tournament in Hong Kong.

Cuskelly has to make a living.

“We go all right – average maybe $1500 a tournament,” he said. “It’s nothing like tennis, though the top players do earn a good living.”

With so much on his plate and his biggest day just around the corner, Cuskelly knows he needsto remain focused.

But when every shot he plays is a building block towards a Commonwealth Games medal, he should manage.



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