After an unprecedented 2020, Lucy Turmel is focusing on making the most out of 2021 as elite sport returns to normal, with one eye focused on making her Commonwealth Games debut for Team England in Birmingham in 2022.

Turmel is one of Team England’s Sir John Hanson Scholars, which provides young athletes with up to £10,000 in funding to help them on their journey towards competing in the Commonwealth Games.

Looking back on 2020

“2020 was strange in comparison to other years, but I think that I made some good progress,” Turmel said “And the time away from competing gave me a lot of time to work on specific things, so there’s a lot of positives to take.

“Throughout the period of when Covid-19 started in March, we only had three PSA World Tour events to play, so it was basically just a lot of training and no competing – which obviously is not the norm at all.”

Starting 2021 right

“Usually I would set targets in the new year ahead of the new season. That would usually be a ranking target, and then maybe a couple more which are players to try and beat or a certain round to reach in a tournament, but at the moment that’s very difficult as we don’t know what the future holds.”

Under current government guidelines, elite sport is able to resume with strict protocols in place.

“We’re allowed to go to training hubs, which England Squash have set up for us. So, if I want to play squash, I have to go to my nearest hub which is in Manchester, I can’t just go down to my local club.

“So, it’s either training off-court at home, or I’ll travel to Manchester so I can take part in a 3-day training hub.

“The rules are very strict. There are regular temperature checks, we stay in single rooms in the hotels, we don’t go out to eat, social distancing and wearing masks in communal areas, but it’s a good environment to be in because all the athletes are in the same boat – we are all just desperate to get on court and train and very grateful that we can do so.”

Hanson Scholarship

“I feel very lucky to be part of the Sir John Hanson Scholarship because I’ve always got people to talk to. I’ve been able to speak to the other athletes on the scholarship, and listen to them, learn about their sports and how they train.

“Listening to how they are training and dealing with the current situation is really insightful for me, and I’m learning from them. We ask each other questions and learn from each other, and every time we get to interact it’s always insightful and inspiring for me.”

Birmingham 2022

 The aim of the scholarship is to help young, English athletes in their pursuit of competing at the Commonwealth Games, something which is a very real target for Turmel with the Games in Birmingham less than two years away.

“The thought of a home Commonwealth Games is really exciting. It being so close in Birmingham obviously means there’s the opportunity for family and friends to come too.

“For all of us on the Hanson Scholarship, it’s great to feel like we’re all pushing towards this same goal of competing for Team England in Birmingham.”

To keep up to date with all the Team England athletes in the lead up to Birmingham 2022 follow Team England on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.