Larisa Wiltshire living up to expectations 

By Akeem Greene

National Squash Player Larissa Wiltshire is by all means living dream as one of Guyana’s top junior squash players. The Wiltshire name in squash should be no surprise as the young star’s father Garfield, sister Akeila and brother Shomari are all formidable players in their own right.
Last Friday would definitely been a memorable occasion in her life by virtue of being the joint recipient of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) award for outstanding achievement in sports for winning the bronze medal at the Commonwealth youth games in Samoa, a feat she achieved with Taylor Fernandes.

 Flashback! Wilshire (first from left) as part of the  victorious female national team last year at the Caribbean Championships
Flashback! Wilshire (first from left) as part of the  victorious female national team last year at the Caribbean Championships
Outstanding Achievement! Wiltshire displays her plaque at the recent GOA Awards. (Marceano Narine Photo)
Outstanding Achievement! Wiltshire displays her plaque at the recent GOA Awards. (Marceano Narine Photo)

When Guyana Times Sport spoke to the player she expressed extreme delight over being given the award.
Wiltshire said “I’m very happy, I was not expecting it because when we went to Samoa to play, it was new segment of the squash arena, as we hadn’t played doubles before so we’re not expecting to win the bronze medal but we tried very hard and we able to archive this feat”.
The 18-year old who can be considered an experienced player explained that the love for the sport comes from the strong family ties.
“I have been in  squash since I was a child, my father is a former Caribbean squash champion so it has been instilled in us from since we were children being a family sport”, Wiltshire revealed.
She added, “Team wise, it’s about being a strong team, we train everyday so that team spirit keeps us going”.
The Queen’s College Sixth form Student who is seeking to pursue a career in the medical field explained how she is able to balance playing the game she loves so much and academics.
“Well, I go to lesson everyday and play squash everyday, so you just have to set your mind to doing a lot of work and focus on what you really want, because I know what I want and I want to be successful both aspects so I try really hard and work really hard and most importantly, practice a lot in order to be successful” the student explained.
Agile, lean and now experienced Wiltshire has her eyes set on securing the Caribbean under-19 crown later this year. With her experienced of two under-15 and one under-17 finals the under-title should not be out of her grasp.
There is going to be the Pan-Am juniors, so we are trying to go to that; also I have haven’t yet achieved the Caribbean title so I’m aiming to achieve the under-19 Caribbean title this year.” She said.
Having strengthened her cross court shots and the mental awareness to time kill shots combined by her immaculate accomplishment on the educational frontier, success seems inevitable or  the young player. (akeemg@guyanatimesgy.com)