Archie Turnbull has squash pedigree running through his veins, but it’s the prospect of making his own mark in the sport which really gets his heart pumping.
After tasting victory at the recent British Junior Under 15 Nationals, the 14-year-old is hungry for more and is pouring his incredible work ethic and focus into his future development.
Archie picked up a racket at an early age, when his father, James, started taking him down to play at their local squash club when Archie was five.
He felt right at home on court – perhaps no coincidence since the Turnbull family have a decorated past in the sport, with Archie’s great-great uncle, Maurice Turnbull, winning the first Wales Open title in 1938.
Maurice and his brother went on to set up the Cardiff Squash and Rackets Club, something Archie and the Turnbull family are very proud of. Keeping the tradition alive, the club is now Archie’s main base for training.
Maurice Turnbull was an exceptional sportsman, not only achieving in his squash career, but also playing rugby and hockey for Wales, as well as becoming Glamorgan cricket’s first Test player for England.
Some historians have even called him Wales’ greatest all-round sports star.
But while some sporting talent might be passed down through the genes, most of it comes from hard work and dedication.
“I usually play six times a week,” says Archie.
“My favourite aspect is probably the athletic side because I like training quite a lot. The running and the body weight exercises, I enjoy a lot.”
The willingness to train means the Cardiff youngster is happy to be ranked highly for tournaments.
“Whenever I get the number one seed, then I always want to try and achieve that goal. I have been in that position a few different times.
“Because it was in the British Nationals it changes things, because there’s a bit more pressure added. But I wouldn’t say it was overwhelming.”
Archie won the tournament in impressive fashion, beating Oliver Gribble, Indie Flint and Diego Pita comfortably, before defeating Dylan Roberts in the final showdown.
“I was very happy and it gave me a boost to play squash even more. So, after that, I structured my training plan to be a lot more thorough and I added diet into the equation as well, because before that I didn’t really focus on diet.
“But when I was away at Birmingham (at the British Nationals) lots of different pros set up their camps out there.
“I got to see how structured their training camps were, like Joel Makin, for example, who’s a big inspiration to me. I just saw how he trained.”
Archie cites Welsh world top 10 performer Makin as one of his biggest role models, and credits his support and influence as having had a significant effect on his professional attitude and preparation.
“My coach at the moment is Joel’s coach (Nic Birt) and Joel actually used to train at my club. So, when I speak to people and hear about the stuff he did, it does remind me of myself.
“I take notes off him for fitness and injury prevention quite a lot.”