By Charlie Gallegos

In our community, there are many children and teenagers who have a deep passion for sports and take it very seriously, juggling their time between school and family and putting in a great deal of effort into their athletic pursuits with a focus on winning.
Among these exceptional youngsters is Gabriella Bitar, a squash athlete who has a bright future ahead of her in the sport.
Gabriella is determined, outgoing, and perseverant. She is currently in the 5th grade at The Langley School, and she is an avid sports enthusiast who enjoys practicing a variety of sports, including soccer, track, and squash. She has been playing squash for four years now and has already achieved the impressive feat of ranking in the top 10 squash players in the country in her category, which is girls under 11. Despite this achievement, Gabriella is determined to continue working hard and striving towards her next goal of ranking in the top 10 in the girls under 13 category.

While Gabriella certainly devotes a significant amount
of effort to her sport, it’s important to acknowledge the
incredible work that her coach, Nouran The Torky, has done. As a coach at the Play Squash Academy, Nouran has established a strong sense of trust and confidence with Gabriella, who believes that Nouran has even more faith in her abilities than she does herself. Given that squash is both a physical and mental game, one of Gabriella’s favorite pieces of advice from Nouran is to “visualize winning in your head before you can actually win on the court.” Playing squash is a great source of enjoyment for Gabriella, but her love for the sport actually began when her father introduced her to it. Gabriella’s father, along with her cousin, brother, and uncle, all share a passion for squash, and she
particularly enjoys spending time playing the sport with them.
In addition to the quality time she spends with her family, Gabriella also loves the opportunity that squash provides her to compete in tournaments, which has allowed her to travel and make friends with girls from all over the country. She and her squash friends stay in touch and support each other during matches.

While Gabriella’s talent as a squash athlete is remarkable, it’s important to recognize that she’s also a typical girl with her own personal preferences. Her favorite song, “Level Up,” gives her a boost of energy before each match, and she enjoys snacking on açaí
bowls and fruit smoothies. Furthermore, in addition to her passion for squash, she also enjoys playing the violin and painting.
As a final thought, we’d like to leave you with Gabriella’s favorite quote by former senator Arlen Specter, who was also an enthusiastic squash player: “You are never too far ahead to lose and never too far behind to win.”

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