Sidcup mum-of-two will compete for England in squash British Open
PUBLISHED: 10:52 28 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:52 28 March 2017
Keeley Johnson, 40, has won three England Squash Masters tournaments in the last eight months
A Sidcup mum is training her way towards this year’s squash British Open after a whirlwind year of competition success.
When Keeley Johnson turned 40 last year, she decided to dedicate her spare time to extra training, with the aim of entering squash competitions again.
She said: “It was last year that I really decided to focus on playing, after I left my husband and turned 40.
“Now I’m training three times a week with my coach, Ben Ford, and also going to the gym twice weekly.”
In February, Ms Johnson won the British Closed over 40s Squash Championship in Manchester, beating the number one, and number two in the competition. She had been ranked as number three/four, but after winning the competition, has gone on to secure her place in the Home Internationals, competing for England, as number one.
Adding to her success, the squash player, who has been playing since aged 10, has also won three England Squash Masters tournaments in the last eight months.
Ms Johnson has two daughters, Isabelle aged 11, and Maisie aged eight, who now also play squash.
“When they were younger I almost felt that I had to dedicate my life to them, so I spent every weekend with them, but now that they’re older they can come down to the squash court with me. They love it, though they’ve only been playing for six months,” she said.
“I would love for them to compete, and they do have a coach now. I’ve always wanted them to play come kind of sport, as I think it gives you determination, a sense of achievement, and teaches you how to loose gracefully if you don’t win.
“For me, squash kept me off the streets as a teenager, and I’m hoping it will do the same for them. I just want them to grow up to be nice people.”
The mum-of-two, is cheered on by her brother Paul Johnson, who now lives in America. Mr Johnson used to be World number four at squash, but due to an injury was forced to retire.
She added: “Paul does come to watch when he can, and I think seeing me compete, and knowing how well my brother did, encourages my daughters to keep going and gives them goals to aspire to.”