Barbara Wall

Squash | Inducted: 1988

Born Perth, W.A.
25 May, 1948

Barbara Wall was the first Western Australian player to win the British Open women's squash championship, once generally regarded as the most prestigious international title the sport had to offer. Her title came in 1979 at a late stage of her career, in which the competitive side of the game was secondary to coaching.

In 1973 she took the ambitious step of turning professional, the first women in Australian squash to do so. In 1976 she ventured overseas, using the squash as a means of travel. In 1977, though unseeded, she reached the final of the British Open, going down to the incomparable Heather McKay. Victories in the Danish, Irish and Belgian Opens and the South African Champion s event spurred her on to greater heights and she returned to London for the 1979 British Open as the No. 8 seed, superbly fit and now dedicated to winning. Suddenly competition had become important and a regimented training program under the direction of former Olympic champion Shirley de la Hunty enabled Barbara to lose a lot of weight and play to her full potential.

Her British Open success heralded three major sporting awards in 1979 - WA's 150th year - and she was named the winner of the WA Sportsman of the Year, the Caltex Sports Star of the Year and the Lindy Awards. She won three WA women's titles in 1969-70-71 and represented the State for six years.