Sitting Down with Mr. Tristan Eysele

Venture into the Sportsplex on campus and you’ll see two full-size gyms, fitness areas, a high-performance weight room, and four glass back squash courts where students can train under the watchful eye of a team of world-class coaches, including professional squash player Mr. Tristan Eysele. After being introduced to the game of squash as a young boy, Tristan quickly fell in love with the game with the goal of playing professionally. Fast forward two decades and hundreds of games later and Tristan is passing on this love of the game to the up-and-coming squash players at Shawnigan. After competing in South Africa recently, we sat down with Tristan to find out the results from the tournament and how he got to this point in his career.
While his dedication at the School to share his love of the game of squash with the students is undeniable, Tristan remains competitive in his sport. To ensure he remains at the top of his game he must continue to compete to keep his spot on the South African team. With a goal of making the National Squad, which is comprised of eight players, to participate in the 2021 WS Men’s World Team Squash Championships taking place in Malaysia in December, Tristan competed in the South African Regional Tournaments in October.

Starting off the first of five tournaments which took place over five days, Tristan travelled to his home province of the Midlands and won the first tournament. He played in his birthplace of Pietermaritzburg for the second tournament where he came out with a win, successfully defeating the Midlands #1 reigning champion of the last 17 years. After playing in the five tournaments, he came out winning four and earning a spot in the main draw in Cape Town. A torn muscle in his hip during the final tournament led to intense physiotherapy, providing a bit of a challenge leading up to his match in Cape Town.

Taking place in an all-glass court at the Waterfront Centre in Cape Town with approximately 500 spectators, the frustration of an injury had to be channelled into a strategy as Tristan competed against the #1 ranked player in his first match. In the end, a fifth-place finish was achieved. It wasn’t enough to get him to the Worlds, as the top four players of the tournament earn a position on the World team, but he is still ready should he be called up to play. His success, he says, came from his ability to keep his emotions in check during a very challenging time of adjusting his game to accommodate a sore hip.

While he may not have reached his goal, the trip to South Africa was still a success for Tristan. He made time to incorporate some PR work and marketing of the sport while he was there. He visited five local schools to coach as not only does he want to play the game of squash, but he wants to share the knowledge he has with boys and girls as well as underprivileged kids. After all, he was only 11 when he first played, and it’s brought him this far already.

Back on campus, albeit for a short time until his next tournament in Vancouver this weekend, the students at Shawnigan get the privilege to be coached and mentored by another world class athlete as Tristan, who needed a change after 12 years in England, and through the Squash Association of BC, was connected to the team at SLS. It was a natural fit to bring Tristan on board as an intern and coach for the squash team. He’s proud to be a part of our organization and wishes to share his enjoyment of the sport and emphasize the ‘fun’ side of the sport as he believes that ‘enjoyment is the key or else you don’t play your best and work hard.’ Good luck this weekend Tristan!

Shawnigan Lake School is adhering to all COVID-19 guidelines released by the BC Ministries of Health and Education.
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.