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Stratford squash champion Emma Jinks finds University of Virginia to her liking

Squash standout Emma Jinks eyes up a shot during a practice in Charlottetown last year. The four-time national championship  and Stratford native is settling into her new home on the University of Virginia’s women’s squash team.
Jason Malloy/The Guardian
Squash standout Emma Jinks eyes up a shot during a practice in Charlottetown last year. The four-time national championship and Stratford native is settling into her new home on the University of Virginia’s women’s squash team. Jason Malloy/The Guardian - Jason Malloy

Jinks settling right in at her new digs with the Virginia women's squash team

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Emma Jinks hasn’t wasted time acclimatizing to the University of Virginia. Truthfully, she’s leapt  straight into the thick of the women’s squash program.

“It’s been so easy actually, honestly. Just jumping right into a team. Having a friend group right away to answer your questions helped a lot,” Jinks said in a recent interview from Charlottesville.

The four-time Canadian junior champion (under-13, under-15, under-17, under-19) signed on with the Cavaliers continuing the upward arc of her a stellar career. Jinks gets her first taste of NCAA Division 1 action Nov. 10 at home versus Georgetown University.

Until then, however, there’s a full slate of practice time - try five days a week - starting with the full women’s squad working Tuesdays and Thursdays, individual and smaller group workouts on Sundays and Mondays and a women’s-men’s team combo practice Fridays.

Add a full schedule of classes in the pre-health program and wiggle room is slim, not that the Charlottetown Rural grad minds too much.

“It’s different. A lot is different in the training aspects. I like the structure of my days. It’s busy, but I’m handling it.”

Jinks, the top ranked junior player in Canada, got to Charlottesville by handling lots of things including her competition.

The Stratford native won the 2017 Canadian junior open, played as Canada’s number one at the 2017 world junior squash championships, finished fifth at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and in July placed 20th overall at the WSF women’s world junior championship in India, going 3-3 and reaching the second round in a tournament featuring 60 top juniors from 20 countries.

She made the second round in 2017 as well, but this year seemed more pleased about her route.

“I was happy with that,” said said. “I found that last year at worlds I put unnecessary pressure on myself. I didn’t play exactly as I wanted to. Last year’s worlds was my first time and it was such a different experience it didn’t help with my nerves. This year I had a different mindset. I stayed calm, trusted myself.” 

She will have to trust her talents again when the regular season starts. Jinks knows her opponents won’t be cake walks as other NCAA Division 1 schools are loaded with world class talent, too.

“It’s going to be difficult for sure, but I’m totally up for the challenge. I’m really excited.”

Squash-ing Out The Facts

A look at the squash career of Stratford’s Emma Jinks.

- Top ranked junior player in Canada. 

- Played as Canada's number at the 2017 world junior squash championships in New Zealand in addition to being selected as the team's flag bearer during the opening ceremonies. 

- National championship titles in under-13, under-15, under-17 and under-19.

- Finished fifth with P.E.I. at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. 

- Placed second at Germany's Pioneer Open in 2015.

- Played at the 2015 and 2017 British Junior Open finishing 13th in under-17 and 18th in under-19.

- Won the 2017 Canadian Junior Open title.

- Three-time winner of the Sport P.E.I. junior female athlete of the year award. 

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