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The woman, the myth, the legend: Heather McKay

Squash Australia and the World Squash Federation would like to wish squash powerhouse Heather McKay a happy 80th birthday.

McKay ranks amongst the most successful squash players in the history of the sport and is one of Australia’s greatest athletes. She dominated the women’s game in the 1960s and 1970s, winning 14 consecutive Australian titles (1960-1973), 16 consecutive British Open titles (1962-1977) and two World Championships (1976, 1979).

Heather wasn’t only a squash sensation, but has considerable achievements in hockey, tennis and racquetball.

Squash Australia CEO Rob Donaghue said that McKay’s accomplishments across all four sports are unparalleled, but it is her dedication to squash that inspired the next generation of squashies.

“Heather’s dominance of the sport is unmatched. To think that she lost only twice over the course of a 20-year-long career is hard to fathom and a testament to her remarkable talent, her relentless perfectionism and a lifelong commitment to squash.

“For her to then come back and work with the Australian Institute of Sport to impart her knowledge and mentor the next generation of players was pivotal for the development of squash in Australia. We’d like to wish her all the best as we celebrate this important milestone, and are grateful that with her example she inspired so many squash players in Australia and all over the world,” he said.

World Squash Federation President Zena Wooldridge OBE also lauded Heather’s extraordinary legacy on the sport. “Heather is an absolute legend in an era when squash exploded in popularity. Her achievements are phenomenal and an inspiring role model to the generation of players who followed. On behalf of World Squash, we’d like to wish Heather a very happy birthday.”

World Squash Federation Vice President and five times World Open Champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald AM is one of those next generation of world-leading players to be inspired by Heather’s achievements.

“Heather was every young Australian players’ idol with a record to aspire too. I was fortunate to not only have coaching by Heather but have her as my training partner and mentor. I just hope I can be as active and fit as Heather still is when I hit my milestones. Have a wonderful birthday Heather.”

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