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Daily media information πŸ™πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ How the sport of squash hooked Sydney company owner Edwina Hagon of Hagon Workroom

β€˜Old-school sportsmanship’: how a retro game hooked this company owner

Squash is fast and sweaty and fun, says Edwina Hagon. And, just like in business, there’s a way to play the game strategically, too. From the upcoming September issue, out on August 26.

Lauren SamsFashion editor

Edwina Hagon is the owner and creative director at Hagon Workroom. She’s 40 and lives in Sydney.

So, squash. Isn’t that a bit ... ’80s?

Yes. Squash peaked before I was born. It’s pretty retro. I started playing a decade ago. My partner at the time encouraged me to give it a go because he played. I loved it immediately.

β€œIt’s old-school sportsmanship. I’ve definitely seen cask wine.” Edwina Hagon, pictured at Bondi Waverley Squash Club.Β Louie Douvis

You’d never played before?

No, I was completely new to it. I’d played tennis growing up. I love competitive sports and missed it. Yoga or jogging never did it for me. I felt I wasn’t exercising enough, but just couldn’t get into fitness classes.

What is it about squash, then?

It’s almost like making clothes – as soon as I began playing, I loved it, I loved the way it made me feel. I became addicted. There is a big social aspect that is lovely and I do like that it’s under the radar somewhat ... it’s not that I like the fact it’s not popular, but I think us squash players like the idea that we’re all in on this big secret together.

How often do you play?

I play a few times a week – a Sunday night competition and a few social matches a week. Through the competitions you meet people at your level, so then you can play more often.

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It sounds like an intense workout.

It is. You’ll find muscles you didn’t know existed. It’s fast and sweaty and fun. But there is a way to play the game strategically, too, which I’ve learnt from playing against older women. I’ve played with women who are 60-plus and they know how to slow the game down. It’s very impressive. They don’t have youth or agility on their side, but they know how to be strategic. They can place the ball exactly where it needs to be, and I’ll be scrambling all over the court, trying to get it back.

I feel obliged to ask: do you dominate the T?

That’s the goal. There are some games where I’ll feel I am in control of the T [the centre of the court]. When you have that feeling, you can conduct the game in the way you want it to go. And when the other person is in control, you feel it immediately. It’s very evident that you’ve lost control. When you take turns, that is a great match.

Have you ever had any injuries?

I haven’t. But you do learn how to move around. It’s like a dance with the other person, you have to be very aware of where they are. It’s how you become a better player and avoid injury.

As someone in fashion, how important is the uniform?

For me, the fashion isn’t a big part of it – but I might change that. I could definitely up my fashion game on the court. I usually wear something quite oversized and baggy.

What do you wish people knew about squash?

That it’s such a great game. It’s a great workout. Tennis had a huge uptick during COVID-19, and squash is similar – but I think it’s more fun. You can play it any time of year and I don’t know if people realise how social it is. After pennant competitions [round robins], you sit down and have a glass of wine, cheese and crackers with your opponents. It’s old-school sportsmanship. I’ve definitely seen cask wine.

What lessons have you taken off the court?

I’ve learnt the importance of making the game work for me. If I apply that to my business, it’s taking an approach that is about slowing down and being purposeful in your actions. You want to be in a position where you’re in control of your actions. Squash teaches you that. It has awoken something in me. It motivates me. And when you win a game, especially after a tough one, there is nothing like it. The confidence boost is out of this world.

The Fashion issue of AFR Magazine is out on Friday, August 26 inside The Australian Financial Review.

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Lauren SamsFashion editorLauren Sams is the fashion editor, based in Sydney. She writes about lifestyle including the arts, entertainment, fashion and travel. Lauren has worked as a features editor and fashion journalist for ELLE, marie claire and more. Email Lauren at [email protected]

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