Egyptian Squash star Kanzy El Defrawy talks about her journey and the UAE squash scene

Hiba Khan - Writer 16:18 15/09/2019
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It is a well-known fact that over the years Egypt has become a massive powerhouse in squash.

So much so, that currently seven of the top 10 players are Egyptians.

Out of the world-class players the country has produced over the years, 25-year-old Kanzy El Defrawy is one of them.

Nicknamed the ‘Flying Daf’, the Cairo-born Egyptian began playing at the age of six and with the support of her parents quickly turned into a star athlete.

El Defrawy competes on the PSA World Tour – women’s professional squash circuit – and was ranked as high as No. 27 back in 2011.

The sport has contributed tremendously in shaping El Defrawy. Not only as an athlete, but as an individual as well.

She said: “From a very young age I was taught to be very disciplined and you need to have a very strong willpower for this sport. So, squash really has transformed me as a person.”

“The dedication and values that I had to apply on myself as an athlete eventually reflected in my personal conduct as well.”

El Defrawy moved to Dubai in 2018 and according to her, the squash scene in UAE definitely has great potential and just by harnessing the competitive drive of youngsters, they too can produce great players just like her home country.

“The squash scene in UAE is very interesting. There are lots of facilities for people to play the sport, but I just find that the competitive drive is missing,” she said.

“Age is very important in squash and people who start at 10, we call them late bloomers. In order to really get the scene going, it’s important to approach young kids and inculcate a passion and thirst for competition in them, so we can create and hone the next generation of squash players in the region.”

Besides being heavily involved in squash, El Defrawy holds a job in events and follows a strenuous training regime. The youngster wants to focus on exploring different sides of her personality, despite her many accomplishments.

She said: “Squash specifically is a very aggressive sport and specifically girls, who play squash, they get so enclosed in this routine and lifestyle, as every single minute of your life, food and sleep is calculated.

“Moreover, the discipline you need is absolutely insane. It ends up secluding you from the world.

“You grow as an athlete, but not as a human, so this is something I am working. Since I know who Kanzy the athlete is, but I don’t know who I am without squash. This is what I want to focus on in the future.”

Follow Kanzy El Defrawy on Instagram @Kanzydaf to stay up to date with her personal and athletic journey.

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