KUALA LUMPUR: Squash legend Nicol David will be retiring at the end of the 2018/2019 tour season after spending more than 20 years representing Malaysia in the sport.
“This decision has been thought through for quite some time and I do know this is my last season,” she said in a statement on Tuesday (Feb 19).
“My mind and body have battled it out to stay at the very top of my game for such a long time that I feel that I only have this last big push left for the final season to give it all I have before I enter the next phase of my life.”
Widely considered by many of her peers to be the greatest player in the game, David is an eight-time squash world champion and was ranked first in the world for 109 consecutive months.
“This is a moment that every athlete must go through - to explore fully what more there is in store for them. I am now at this point in my life, ready to take on more beyond the pro tour,” David said.
The Penang-born superstar burst onto the scene when she won her first Woman’s World Junior Squash Championship in 1999, before she claimed her maiden tour title in February 2000 at the Finnish Open.
She would go on to capture more than 80 titles in a glittering career, and David is expected to retire when the season finishes in June this year.
Declaring that squash “will always play an important role in my life,” she said she would join the Professional Squash Association to raise the awareness of the sport globally and to build a support team for professional squash athletes as they “continue to raise the bar on tour”.
She also plans to help the next generation of female squash players in Malaysia to achieve their potential through the work of the Nicol David foundation.
It will partner with professional services firm PwC Malaysia to create a programme and structure to have more girls playing sport.
David also announced her intention to share her story with the people of Malaysia in a series of talks titled Nurturing Belief and introduced a campaign called The Dream Remains.
“I would like to enjoy my last few tournaments together with everyone through this campaign in the hopes of giving all a chance to have their own dreams to go forth the way I plan to keep striving for,” David said.
“This unimaginable squash journey would not have happened without my family’s love and guidance to take me through everything and now more.
“They are the heart of my success and right now, it is how I can contribute to a bigger purpose to fulfil my mission in life.”