In our latest #PrideInSquash piece, we speak with Jenny Duncalf about her career, coming out, becoming a mother and more.
Jenny had a very successful career in squash: reaching World Number Two, receiving Commonwealth Games medals and winning prestigious titles such as the Quatar Classic
“I used to play a lot of sports when I was younger. Football was my main one, I used to play for my school and the boys team. And then under ten level the FA didn’t allow at the time girls to play with boys, so that was my what I thought was a budding football career move over.
“I ended up going down to the squash club on a Saturday morning instead of football.”
Post career, she is actively involved with PSA events and is a major coach in Australia.
“When I retired, I was already doing a fair bit of emceeing for the PSA, the big events, which was good fun. It was harder than being a professional squash player!”
“I then started working part time as the junior coach for Squash Australia and then became full time maybe a year and a half ago now as National Pathways coach, then National Junior Coach, aiming to get the squash in Australia back on the map”
Jenny publicly came out in 2017, announcing her relationship with former World Number One Rachael Grinnan.
They now live in Brisbane, Australia and have recently started a family with the arrival of their first child Finley
“We’ve been sort of trying to try to make a little family. It really makes you think back to being a player is obviously the easiest, easiest thing ever. You’ve only got to look after yourself, really.”
“He’s just so precious. You want to do everything you can for him!”
Jenny then speaks about how the squash community has been welcoming and accepting with her sexuality, and the importance of LGBT+ visibility within the sport.
“I’ve always felt comfortable within squash, maybe I’m biased because it is my sport but generally people are pretty good”
“I think we’re a good bunch and most people get on well and are happy if people are happy in their own skin.”
“You see the negative stuff and it’s kind of like “Oh, who cares?” “We don’t even care anymore, just be yourself and get on with it. We don’t need to hear about it” But we do need to hear about it.”
“You’ve got to keep the fight going and keep the visibility because there is someone in Timbuktu who needs to see it. Not all countries are as forgiving and accepting as the countries we live in.”
“The more we can bring it consistently to the forefront, then hopefully that’ll drip feed to other countries and other people around the world who aren’t so fortunate.”