McKay, Heather (1941—)

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McKay, Heather (1941—)

Australian squash champion . Born Heather Pamela Blundell on July 31, 1941, in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia.

Won first Australian Amateur Squash championship title (1960); won first British Open title in the sport (1962); won the inaugural Women's World championship title (1976, 1979).

Heather McKay lost only two squash matches in twenty years, and is recognized as one of the leading players of the game (known in the United States as racquetball). Born in the town of Queanbeyan in New South Wales, Australia, in 1941, McKay was already a skilled field hockey player when she took up a squash racquet in order to improve her field hockey game. Though she would play on the Australian women's national field hockey team, she came to excel in squash and began making a name for herself in the sport in the late 1950s. In 1960, she won her first Australian Amateur championship title, and retained control of that title through 1973. She also won the British Open title for 16 seasons straight, from 1962 to 1977. She was named ABC Sportsman of the Year (now Sports Person of the Year) in 1967, and after winning the Women's World championship title in 1976 turned professional. She moved to Toronto, Canada, in the late 1970s and became a coach. In 1979, she won both the Women's World Open Squash championship as well as the U.S. Amateur Women's Racquetball title. She also took the Professional Women's Racquetball titles in the United States in 1980, 1981, and 1984. Returning to Australia in 1985, she became a coach in Brisbane.


Hemery, David. The Pursuit of Sporting Excellence. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Books, 1986.

Vamplew, Wray, et al., eds. The Oxford Companion to Australian Sport. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Carol Brennan , Grosse Pointe, Michigan