Vicki Cardwell (nee Hoffman) was a dominant force on the world and Australian squash scene from the late 70s to the mid-90s. In the seven year period between 1978 and 1984 Cardwell reached the semi-final or final of every tournament she competed in throughout the world and the final of every tournament contested in Australia.
Cardwell won the British Open crown on four occasions. In 1980 she defeated Sue Cogswell 9-5 9-5 9-3, in 1981 she defeated Margaret Zachariah 9-6 9-4 9-0, in 1982 she defeated Lisa Opie 9-4 5-9 9-4 9-4 and in 1983 she defeated Opie again 9-10 9-6 9-4 9-5. She was runner up in 1978 to Sue Newman 9-4 9-7 9-2, and was a semi-finalist in 1979.
In the first four World Open Championships Cardwell contested, she was third in 1979, runner up in 1981 to Rhonda Thorne (Aus) 8-10 9-4 9-5 7-9 9-7, winner in 1983 defeating Thorne 9-1 9-3 9-4, and fourth in 1987. Cardwell was a member of the Australian team at the World Women’s Team’s Championships in 1981, 1987 and 1989.
Cardwell’s Australian record is also outstanding, winning the Australian Amateur Women’s Championship in 1978 and then won seven Australian Women’s Open Championships, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1989.
Her squash career did not end there as she also holds many Masters titles – winning the World Masters Championships in 1987 (45), 1990 (45), 1993 (50), and 1995 (50). In 1997 at 42 years of age Cardwell retired from the international tour permanently, ranked 26th in the world.
From 1980 to 1983 Cardwell was ranked number one in the world. During her career, she had three children, however this did not thwart her enthusiasm to play at the highest level. She competed in World Championships before and after each of her three pregnancies.
In 1981, Cardwell was awarded the Order of the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her service to squash and in 2005, she was inducted into the Squash Australia Hall of Fame.