Raneem El Welily
Country : Egypt
Age : 27
WR : 3 (highest 1)
Juniors : 6x BJO,
World Junior Champ 2005, 07
Teams : World Team
Champs 2008, 12
PSA titles : 12
How did you get in to squash?
My parents were choosing between squash and tennis for my
brother. Since Alexandria is a rainy city in the winter and the
summers are really hot, they thought outdoors tennis would be
At the same time in squash, the under 19
Egyptian junior team had just won the World Teams event, and so
my parents decided squash it is.
My brother started and here I am going back and forth with him
watching him all the time. Of course a Racquet ended up in my
hand, my brother's coach (Ahmed Abdallah) took me on court once,
and that was it!! I never left the court!!
Did you play any other sports growing up?
The idea of Gymnastics was a nightmare, without even trying it,
all my mom needed to do is say the word "gymnastics" and I'd
break into tears. I mean come on!!! Girls wearing swimsuits out
of the water??? Why???
Tried swimming, went to swimming summer school at my club (again
following my brothers footsteps). At the end of the summer
season, they would have a day filled with swimming competitions
for all the levels.
They do that as a celebration and give
everyone a certificate, a medal was given to those who finished
in 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
While my brother came in second
place in the 50 meter race. I came in last place in probably
the 20 meter race, I remember the coach coming to help me finish
the last 10 meters, I don't think I would have ever made it to
that finish line without him.
Why did you decide that you wanted to make Squash your
I loved it, I love being on court, it's the place I feel the
You attended a German International School. How
does that education compare to the other international schools?
Was it more intense or on the same level?
The German education system in Egypt compared to other education
systems, even though it's very difficult, is really good, I know
that now when I look back of course, at the time though I didn’t
see it that way at all :D
One thing they take really seriously is discipline. Discipline
comes on top of any of their lists. To all my teachers missing
just ONE day cause I had to be at some tournament, meant I would
miss out on a lot of very important stuff and maybe even fail
the class. So imagine me missing 20 days, it drove them nuts.
wasn't until I won the world junior open, which was only 1 year
away from graduation, that they understood that I'm trying to
take squash seriously.
Most of our teachers were german, but the teaching system is
what makes the German school different from any other school in
Egypt. They taught us how to think outside the box, how to be
independent and always taught us to go beyond the task and
beyond the books.
If they were to choose between building our characters or
teaching us all the words in all the books of all the world,
they'd choose our characters.
Do you get a chance to practise your German on your travels on
the World Squash tour?
Not so much really, we rarely play any tournaments in Germany,
Switzerland or Austria. Two people though have the tolerance to
speak some German with me now, since I now struggle to form a
sentence, Simon Rösner and Claudia Schürmann.
How did you get involved in with Harrow?
Back in 2004 Omar El Borolossy was Harrow's distributor in Egypt
and he introduced me to Harrow's Racquets and got me a contract.
A year later I met the famous Mark Hayden one of the most
respectable and exciting people that I have ever met, and since
then it's been Harrow and only Harrow for me.
You have been a long standing member of Team Harrow.
been the best part of being with them?
Well like I said meeting Mark Hayden is what started this bond.
Mark would make anything work, to him nothing is impossible and
everything is doable ANYWHERE in the world.
The Harrow Sports Team is all about ambition, creativity and
attention to all the very small details. And everyone is always
so cheerful and excited.
Being part of team harrow is all about care, respect and endless
if you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
I'd stop worrying about being an Olympic sport.