Issue date: 07 December 2009
Reigning World Junior Squash Champion Mohamed El Shorbagy has joined the University of the West of England to study for a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Mohamed, who is 18 and from Egypt, beat second seed Ivan Yuen of Malaysia in straight games 11/9, 12/10, 11/2 in Chennai, India, in August retaining the World Junior Title that he also won in Zurich in 2008. Mohamed is only the second player in history to win the Junior World title twice.
Mohamed was at school in Somerset and has also held the British Junior title since he was fifteen. He will be defending this title as an under-19 for the third time in January in Sheffield – if he wins three times in a row, this will create a new record.
Already well established on professional squash circuit, and ranked 14 in the world seniors, he will travel to matches in Qatar, India and Saudi Arabia alongside continuing his studies.
He said, “Mechanical Engineering is a tough course and I will have to study hard for my exams in January – the key thing is for me to organise my time well so I can do both.
“Many Universities contacted me, but UWE understood my sport best, my need to go to tournaments. People at UWE have really helped me, especially Sports Performance Manager Richard Bennett and Mechanical Engineering programme leader Neil Larsen.
“UWE has provided me with a full scholarship through the EliteUWE programme – no other University could match this, so it is really special. I use the gym facilities here too – it has the machines I need as a squash player, and I can play squash either at the Centre for Sport or at Wallscourt.”
Mohamed, who trained with Jonah Barrington, has just been named Young Male Player of the Year in the International Squash Awards 2009 and PSA Young Player of the Year by the Professional Squash Association.
UWE Deputy Vice-Chancellor John Rushforth said, “We are delighted that Mohamed has joined us. This is a further example of the University's ambition, since it shows we are serious about developing our sporting profile, demonstrates the benefits of our world class facilities and shows how we can support students.”
Richard Bennett said, “The opportunity for UWE to host a player of Mohamed's talent is a direct reflection of our recent investment in sport. I am very glad that we were able to assist in bringing Mohamed to UWE and appreciative of the exposure that Mohamed will generate for UWE in the world of Elite sport. As well as playing for UWE in the British Universities Championships, Mohamed will be acting as a sporting ambassador for UWE within the community.
“Mohamed's arrival is making waves beyond the University. He is a member of the National League Squash Team Probuild Bristol, based at the Welsh Back club in the city centre, which is relishing the sell-out crowds that Mohamed is drawing. His combination of explosive power and innovation on the court ensure an entertaining game for the crowd.”
UWE Head Squash Coach and Probuild Bristol team manager Hadrian Stiff said “I am very exited about the next 4 years when Mohamed will be training here. I will do everything possible to fine tune this incredible player.”
For more information on UWE's Elite Athletes visit http://www.uwe.ac.uk/sport/elite.shtml