Hartford, Conn. - Her parents put a squash racket in her hands at age four and ever since former Trinity College All-American Lynn Leong has flourished as an athlete. Having seen the potential that could rise from her skill, Leong's father began to train her and had her compete in tournaments with girls much older to hone her skills. Two weeks shy of her 15th birthday, Leong won the 1996 Asian Women's Championship in Jordan. At the time, this win made her the youngest ever to win the title and the first Malaysian to do so. Other accolades collected by Leong include the Malaysian Women's National Champion and the U.S. Junior Open Champion.
Arriving to the United States as one of the top junior players in the world, Leong quickly drew the interest of Trinity Head Coach Wendy Bartlett. Leong began her American squash career at St. George's School in Middletown, R.I. Due to the demands of her busy squash career, Leong had taken time off of school in her native country and seized the opportunity to finish up the second half of her high school career in the United States.
Louisa Hall, a fellow squash player, put Leong into contact with her mother, Anne Hall, who was a guidance counselor at Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia. Leong studied only through her sophomore year of high school while in Malaysia and Anne Hall found the opportunity for Leong to finish her junior and senior years at St. George's. This afforded Leong the prospect of collegiate squash.
When asked what prompted her to choose Trinity, Leong gracefully answered, "It was Wendy Bartlett that recruited me to Trinity. She did a great job selling Trinity to me and I got great support from the school. How could I say no?"
A 2005 graduate from Trinity College, Leong had a game style that "Lynn had a was controlled style of play," said Bartlett of the 2005 Trinity graduate. With her tight, accurate drives and shots Lynn gracefully wore her opponents down by moving them all around the court."
As a Bantam, Leong held an important role on the team both on and off the court, Coach Bartlett explains, "her style of play, her calmness, and her poise enabled her to be a terrific role model." In addition to her intangible strengths, Leong earned All-American honors all four years of her career for her play on the court and was given a Trustee of Excellence award by the College at her graduation.
Realizing her passion for teaching squash and her love of working with others, Leong gave coaching a chance after graduation, and it has stuck with her. Currently the director of squash at the New Haven Lawn Club in Southern Connecticut, Leong has worked at the Club since 2007.
Leong does find the joy that she experiences while playing and coaching squash in other facets of her life as well. Coach Bartlett raves "Lynn is an outstanding photographer! She created beautiful photographs, individual ones of the players and ones of the team that were so professionally done. She went at it with a passion!"
"I do absolutely love photography. Unfortunately with my busy squash coaching schedule I do not get to do as much as I want. However, whenever I have free time I try to get outside and find a project to shoot," Leong explains. Ultimately Leong would like to work towards her photography aspirations, and make that the next career step in her life.
Presently, however, Leong plans to continue to bring up more national caliber squash players. Most importantly, Leong plans to raise her daughter, Blake, with her husband and one day "share and teach this wonderful game of squash to her."
written by Devon MacGillivray '13