Mia Mahfood ‘20 plays girls’ varsity squash and is a great player and role model on and off the court. This will be Mahfood’s third year at Lawrenceville and as a player on the squash team. She contributes significantly to the overall success of the team, while also competing in extremely competitive tournaments in Jamaica, her home country.
Drew Friedman: When did you first begin playing squash and how has your viewpoint on the sport changed over your career?
Mia Mahfood: I started playing squash when I when ten, so around eight years ago. At first, it was just a form of exercise and recreation. My sister had played so I was following in her footsteps, and I think as I have matured and grown. Playing here has become a critical part of my life. Being on a team has really changed my perspective and brought support from others.
DF: As one of the leaders of the team, how would you describe the culture of the squash program here at Lawrenceville?
MM: I think it is really strong and it has definitely grown. We have two amazing coaches who were both professional squash players. They actually met on the circuit and now they are married so they are like my parents on campus. I know a lot of people on the team feel the same way about them. They have really supported us throughout our journeys at Lawrenceville, not just in squash, but in our lives as well.
DF: What professional athlete do you most admire and why?
MM: I greatly admire Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She is the fastest woman in the world currently and she is Jamaican. She is still winning races after having a son. She is focused on faith and perseverance. I heard her speak once, it was so powerful, and I think she is just a great example and advocate of the Jamaican people and athletes.
DF: What are some of your most memorable experiences as a squash player?
MM: Definitely, two years ago, when we played at Nationals and placed fourth - the highest we placed in almost nine years. I was shocked since it was my first year at Lawrenceville. This summer I played for Jamaica in Trinidad and our girls’ team placed second. It was the the first time [Jamaica] even placed in the top five for Caribbean teams in eight years. Being part of two teams that work so hard and ended up doing so well was so special.
DF: How do you successfully juggle the demands/responsibilities of being both a student and an athlete?
MM: I think it is somewhat easy to do since teachers are understanding of the demands of the athletics here. Squash is so fast paced, so our practices are not as long as other practices because you do so much in such a short time. It has not been that difficult but it has definitely helped me to manage my time more efficiently.
DF: Whom do you consider a role model, either on or off the court?
MM: My sister, because she played squash her whole life and played in college. She has pushed me to be a better player and person. I think looking up to; an older sibling is something a lot of people can relate to.
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.