Carol Cassar Torreggiani was born on 25 July 1968 on the Blue Sisters Hospital, delivered by her grandfather Dr Edward Navarro. From a young age she was uncovered to the world of tennis and racket sports activities, as her father, Vincent Curmi, was additionally Malta’s Tennis and Badminton champion. “I nonetheless bear in mind receiving my first tennis racket on the younger age of 4. I used to tag alongside to all of my father’s sporting occasions with my brother and sister, be it both tennis on the Marsa Sports activities Membership or badminton competitions across the island. We was once dropped off within the early hours of the morning on the membership, the place we might spend many of the day taking part in tennis, video games and different sports activities with all the opposite children on the membership.
Naturally, I grew to fall in love with the game throughout my youth and bear in mind having to steadiness college with tennis was fairly a giant problem! As I grew older and commenced to play extra aggressive tennis, my holidays have been spent travelling to totally different tournaments, most frequently to the UK. As my dedication to coaching and competitors elevated as a teen, I by no means actually frolicked with buddies on the seashore or elsewhere having fun with the solar in Malta. It was powerful being away from household and buddies, nonetheless, competitors stored me motivated to hold on.”
Carol aimed excessive however like each different human owes loads to her formation years. “I spent my junior and senior college years at The Convent of the Sacred Coronary heart, adopted by my sixth kind years at St Aloysius School. Given my publicity to sport from a younger age, I aspired to additional my research within the area of Physiotherapy, to assist athletes like myself with their aches and pains. Nonetheless, at the moment the course for Physiotherapy at College was solely provided each three years and I used to be not prepared to attend one other three years to begin my research. Due to this fact, I had no alternative however to depart the island and seek for schooling elsewhere. I bear in mind clearly going to the American Embassy to acquire particulars of universities that had an excellent tennis crew and provided sports activities scholarships. Because of my world junior rating, which was high 100 at the moment, I used to be provided and accepted a full-ride scholarship at San Diego (United States Worldwide College).
“USIU had an outstanding worldwide tennis crew, amenities and arrange, and was ranked high 20 within the First Division. I needed to change my desire to check physiotherapy, as within the States this course was provided as a pre-med course, adopted by one other couple of years to acquire a level, plus an unfavourable schedule which clashed with tennis coaching. Due to this fact, I opted to change to Enterprise diploma and graduated 4 years later. After 4 implausible years of tennis and schooling within the States, I made a decision to return residence and began to work in my father’s agency within the area of finance and audit. My life then was very hectic, as I needed to steadiness working full-time, coaching and coached tennis, in addition to furthering my research to acquire my ACCA qualification and topping all of it off with having twin boys on the identical time! I’ve been a companion on the agency VCA Licensed Public Accountants for various years; we’re a boutique skilled agency with very profitable clientele each domestically and abroad.”
In life each human units targets. And to succeed one has to purpose excessive. “The tennis world is so aggressive and in the present day it’s develop into much more aggressive. There are such a lot of children who play aggressive tennis, however in actuality few make it to the highest. It’s tough to check the extent of competitors and charge of success with in style crew sports activities like soccer, the place there are numerous extra groups, positions, funding and subsequently extra alternatives all over the world. Furthermore, it’s only the highest 150-200 ranked gamers who’re capable of make a residing out of the game, which is a tiny fraction of the full pool of aggressive tennis gamers. To make it to the highest you want cash for travels to play competitions and enhance your rating, the utter need to make it, an excellent thoughts, a wholesome physique, the correct individuals round you on the proper time, some luck and most of all of the reward from God (the expertise).”
Honours began rolling in – successful the Junior Championships and in addition topped Malta Champion between 1985 and 1995 bar one 12 months. Was this the height of Carol’s profession? “I used to be junior champion beneath 12, 14, 16 and 18 and in addition Malta Women Champion for a few years. As a junior, apart from successful the native tournaments, I performed many abroad tournaments, initially within the UK successful a number of membership open tournaments in numerous elements of the nation, nonetheless my most profitable years as a junior have been between 1985 and 1986, the place I used to be a finalist in world rating open ITF junior tournaments in Palermo, Portugal, Florence and Austria. On the age of 18, I moved to the US to play school tennis and in 1989 I gained the primary division intercollegiate match of the state of Ohio; I don’t consider any Maltese individual has ever gained such a prestigious occasion. Being ranked high 60 in first Division US School Tennis I additionally certified for the NCAA match (thought of to be the perfect novice match on the planet) nonetheless I opted to characterize Malta within the GSSE. After 4 years within the US I returned to Malta and continued to characterize Malta in Federation Cup, GSSE and gained the Malta championship, even after my boys have been born.”
However how did her experiences away from our island assist her in furthering her profession? “From the age of 9 I began travelling overseas to play numerous tournaments. Primarily within the UK once I was coached by an English coach primarily based in Malta, Gordon Mudge. I gained a number of membership tournaments there and began to take part and reach extra worldwide tournaments, which pushed up my rating and thus certified for Junior Wimbledon. I had the pleasure of taking part in Gabriella Sabatini in a semi last match in Vienna and in addition Barbara Schett in a Fed Cup match in Austria. My 4 years within the States have been the years that I loved taking part in tennis essentially the most. I began on the quantity 6 place within the tennis crew and labored my method as much as the highest within the final 12 months to characterize the faculty at the number one spot. We performed lots of the high Ivy League groups reminiscent of Stanford, UCLA, Sta Barbara, and so forth. We have been high 20 within the nation and I even made it to the Nationals (high 64 school gamers within the US), nonetheless I needed to refuse the invitation as I selected to play for my nation within the GSSE Video games.”
Carol fashioned a formidable couple with Helen Asciak within the Doubles Occasion. In reality she gained Gold within the GSSE in 1987, 1989, 1991 and 1993 making them practicabily unbeatable. “Sure we had nice outcomes over time. 4 gold medals for Malta was an excellent achievement and we felt so proud to characterize the nation and succeed within the GSSE video games. We have been two fighters and we made an excellent crew – Helen for by no means making any errors from the again of the court docket and I had developed extra of an attacking sport, so we complemented one another nicely. Taking part in within the States actually helped develop my sport in doubles, we even beat Greece collectively!
She additionally had her fair proportion of success within the Singles, successful three bronze medals and silver throughout these Video games. “I’m very pleased with the singles medal too, it’s nonetheless the one silver medal ever gained within the girls singles. I used to be too nervous for that Closing, it was performed in Malta in 1993, there have been so many individuals watching – it was unbelievable, they even needed to ship individuals away. Sadly, I misplaced a stiff match in opposition to the highest participant from Monaco at the moment.”
1987 was a selected 12 months as Carol was lastly chosen as Sportswoman of the Yr. “Sure certainly. I used to be nominated as finalist for the Sports activities Girl of the Yr fairly a number of occasions however managed to win the title in 1987, this was an excellent honour, nonetheless, sadly I used to be again at School and was not capable of accumulate my trophy. However for me this was an excellent achievement and an appreciation for the outcomes that I used to be getting.”
However one other milestone for Cassar Torreggiani was reached six years later when she was vested with the nationwide award, Il-Qadi tar-Repubblika. “This was epic, to be awarded a medal by the state for the achievements made on your nation is one thing else. To be given such a recognition by the President of Malta, at the moment, Dr Censu Tabone was extraordinarily valuable. One other achievement is my admission along with Helen to the MOC Corridor of Fame.”
Among the many numerous moments in her illustrious profession there should certainly be a selected second that stands out. “Sure there have been many particular proud moments, nonetheless one which stands out is once I was the flag bearer for Malta in the course of the opening ceremony of the GSSE Video games in 1993; the Nationwide Stadium was completely full. Additionally of specific point out is successful the First Gold medal for Malta in 1987 and in 1993 in entrance of the house crowd.”
Is Carol nonetheless concerned within the tennis world? “Each my sons play tennis, they have been each junior champions, Bernard left Malta on the age of 15 to additional his tennis and his research. He performed for the College of Nottingham and Imperial School London tennis groups and is now an energetic member of Campden Hill Garden Tennis Membership in London. Matthew additionally performed for the College of Nottingham and is again in Malta nonetheless competing and representing Malta’s nationwide crew. I nonetheless comply with the native tennis scene, take pleasure in a sport with my boys when attainable and comply with my niece Francesca Curmi, who has left Malta to take up the game as a occupation. She is a good athlete and need her all of the luck on the planet however it’s one hell of a troublesome journey. I used to be additionally voted in as secretary to the Malta Tennis Federation for 2 years however this was very difficult as a result of lack of assets, different commitments and opposing views on the committee throughout my tenure.”
Carol additionally shares her opinion of what lies forward for the sport on our island. “Malta has a strong floor base to develop tennis to a sure age and stage, nonetheless to succeed it’s tough to hold on coaching on the island, with a restricted variety of gamers to coach with and solely a handful of coaches that may take a participant to a sure stage.”
What does household life imply? “I like my household; they’re crucial individuals in my life. Typically I remorse working lengthy hours and never being there on a regular basis, however I really feel as a mom and a spouse I’ve accomplished and can proceed to be there in the very best method.”
Carol advocates a plant-based food regimen and loves a slice of a Cassata Siciliana or cannoli. And what about travelling? “My favorite vacation spot is London, extra exactly Wimbledon, because it jogs my memory of taking part in my first and solely junior Grand Slam. The joys of going there and watching the match brings again all the joy. It is usually a possibility to go to my son.”
Carol additionally finds time to practise Padel tennis, which is being thought of because the quickest rising sport in Europe, and in addition studying. However aside from these hobbies, what does she love to do in her free time? “I like biking when attainable, however sadly the roads will not be too secure and there are too many automobiles on the street! I like a very good film or a very good sequence particularly people who relate to historical past or primarily based on true tales.”
Earlier than bringing to an finish this interview with an ex-top native tennis participant, a last point out and recommendation to the younger era from Carol fits all. “I might identical to to present a particular point out to my father for introducing me to the sport and financing my coaching and travels, my household for his or her persistence and fixed help and my lifelong tennis coach Anthony Schranz for his time and dedication. My recommendation is that Sports activities offers you a lot extra than simply outcomes. It’s not solely the bodily side of sports activities that’s good however the psychological improvement that goes with sport will assist obtain your objectives in life and all the time attempt for greatness!”