My Positive Life – Peter Creed

Peter Creed is a professional squash player and the Welsh National squash champion. He captained Great Britain to a Gold Medal at the World University Championships in Melbourne, Australia. At only 26 years old, his ambition is to represent Wales at a Commonwealth Games and reach the top 30 in the World Rankings.

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One word that describes you? Creative.
 
In your own words, what do you do? I play a sport I love, while exploring every corner of the globe. I’m a professional squash player. I train six days a week, mostly 2-3 sessions a day, from yoga, to on-court, mountain running, and weights at the gym. Fortunately my line of work allows me to see many different places around the world from Japan, Rio, Kuala Lumpur, to Salt Lake City and New York, to name a few. My tournament season roughly runs from end of August through to May. During this period, I’m mostly on a plane, sleeping in hotels, living out of my bag, competing in anywhere between 16-18 tournaments annually.  As the leading Welsh Squash athlete, and due to my World Ranking of 70, I’m motored and funded by SportWales for expenses which allows me this opportunity. I love what I do, it’s a dream come true, and I’ll keep doing it for as long as I possibly can. 
 
Who is your greatest influence in your career/life? My parents have had massive impact on my life and squash career. Without their commitment, support and sacrifice, this opportunity wouldn’t have been possible. From the age of 10, they gave their weekends to take me and my sister, to junior tournaments around the UK and Europe. At the age of 14, I was offered a scholarship to Millfield School, which my parents worked hard to make financially possible. I feel I’m well balanced as a person and this is mostly due to the opposite personalities they possess, and the impact and guidance they have given me. They have always been there to encourage me, enough for me to succeed. They are my biggest fans and they are always at the front of my mind wherever I am. 
 
I have been very lucky to have been coached by two very influential characters during my career to date. Jonah Barrington (six times British Open Champion) was my mentor at Millfield. He is my sporting idol and I listened to everything Jonah passed onto me. He showed me what I needed to do daily in order to be a successful athlete. He gave me the desire and drive to play professionally, and fulfil my potential. Chris Robertson (World Junior Champion 1983 and a previous World No.2) was the Welsh National Coach, who supported me for my whole Junior career.
 
Which is your favourite part of your job? Exploring the world has to be the best part of my Job.  I’ve visited countries I never knew existed. It was a dream as I grew up, which became more of a reality the older I got. As a school boy from a Welsh town called Caerphilly, in South Wales, I’ve always wanted to broaden my mind, and explore as many cultures as possible. I’m now living my dream. 
 
Which is the part that you enjoy the least? Losing when you haven’t fulfilled your potential. Some days on the road you have blips in your playing performance, and there isn’t always reasoning behind it. 
 
What is your greatest achievement? Winning my first professional title and breaking the top 100 in the world rankings in January 2012. I also captained Great Britain to a World Teams University Gold Medal in Melbourne, Australia in 2010 .

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What was your Plan B? If I wasn’t competing in squash, then I hope I would be competing in another sport professionally.  To be totally honest, from the age of 12 there has always been one focus, and plan B was never an option. I knew what I wanted to do and what I needed to sacrifice in order to make it possible. I was fully committed to life as a Squash professional from very early on.
 
What is your most prized possession? I don’t have any single item that I take with me on tour, but my shoe collection has to be my most prized possession (around 125).  Something more personal would be the unforgettable memories of my Grandmother, and her charisma. I have many great stories of my time with her, and they will never be forgotten. 
 
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? “Don’t waste your talent, you’ve worked so hard to achieve.”  (Jonah Barrington). When I left Millfield School in 2005, Jonah wrote a passage on the front page of his autobiography Murder on the Squash Court and handed it to me, and that was the first line of what he wrote. 

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Please complete the sentence… I could not live without… My obsession with the fine art of tattooing. 
 
Favourite restaurant? Carretão Churrascaria, just off Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
 
Sustainability and consumption are two words you will hardly find in the same sentence – which brands do you think are good quality and are doing their bit for people and the planet? I believe in American Apparel, and think they should be replicated elsewhere as a role model business. Their demeanour should lead the way in the world of fashion. They discourage the use of sweatshops, while production takes place in Los Angeles. The materials they use are organic and they have a small carbon footprint compared to competitors. This is due to their effective recycling procedures. They also give back to the community by integrating manufacturing, distribution and their creative departments in their sewing facility in North America.
 
Do you support a charity or cause? I donate to a Welsh Children’s charity regularly, and try to provide any unwanted sports kit in their direction. I’ve always liked the idea of helping others, but feel that you need to be in a good financial position yourself, to be able to do so with great effect. I hope the more successful I get, the greater impact I can have towards others. 
 
What is your personal luxury? I would say my iMac when I’m at home, as I’m constantly researching, reading articles and watching videos. While on the road  I’m constantly listening to music, so my Bose QC15 headphones are always by my side. 
 
What steps do you take to make your life more positive? When I’m down, I think about my family, the opportunities I’ve been given, and the achievements I’ve achieved. Imperfections and knowing that “Once achieved forever accomplished”.

Karen Hodkinson