Sartus Hall Rogers (left) with Cio García. SUR
Coaches and observers are hailing British-born, 12 year-old Sartus Hall Rogers as one of the region’s most promising young sportspeople after he recently won the 2012 ‘Copa de España’ Under 13s Squash Championship.
The Mijas Costa-based youngster swept to victory in the national tournament in Fuengirola when he came back from a score of 2-0 to eventually triumph 3-2 against his rival, Cio García.
It wasn’t the first time that Sartus and Cio had met on the squash court. In April, the pair had battled for sporting supremacy in a national youth competition held in Vigo. On that occasion too, Sartus was victorious and made history by becoming the first junior player from Andalucía to win it.
Of his most recent success in the ‘Copa de España U13’, Sartus says: “I was very pleased with the result. It was hard work but also great fun.”
Fuelled by his run of achievements this year and with encouragement from his mother, Shauna, and coaching from his father, Marcus, himself an_Andalusian champion, Sartus tells SUR in English he has high hopes for the future. “I train Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Club Deportivo Elola in Fuengirola and then maybe I’ll have a match on Saturday or Sunday.”
“I’ve been playing since I was three years old, ever since I could hold a racquet, really! I would very much like to make the sport my career. It would be amazing to become a professional player or perhaps a coach.”
He even has his eye on Olympic Glory. “Squash could be an Olympic sport in 2020. It would be great to be able to play in the Games one day!”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will convene in Buenos Aires next year to decide which sport to add to the 2020 programme. Squash missed a placement at Rio 2016 to golf and rugby sevens. But, according to many of the sport’s lobbyists, “crucial changes,” including all-glass courts and modifications to the scoring system, have been made to make it as appealing as possible for the IOC.
For the time being though, Sartus has closer objectives to focus on. “My next big goal is to make it to the Under 13s European Squash Championship in Belfast in November,” he says.