Two Women Crowned Emerging Leaders in BC Squash Community

Two British Columbian women have been recognized as Champions of women's squash in the province. Elsa Snyder of Vancouver (Bentall Centre Athletic Centre) and Rebecca Vassilakakis of Castlegar (Nelson Squash Club) were both named as emerging female leaders in the sport of squash, with each of their clubs being recipients of a $500 grant award from the Squash BC Emerging Female in Squash program.

This program was established in 2018 as a new initiative to attract and retain women and girls in squash. Clubs were encouraged to identify and nominate a female ambassador who is committed to promoting the sport to girls and women at their respective clubs. Eligibility for the grant program was open to the 18 participating clubs in the annual September Women’s Squash Week . Through an online nomination process, participating clubs nominated a female champion who best aligned with program criteria: going over and beyond to promote and identify opportunities to participate as well as encourage overall enjoyment of the sport.

The grants are to be used by the clubs to promote and deliver squash programs for girls and women through the calendar year (2019).

Over the past 20 years in Canada, female participation in sport in Canada has continued to decline and Squash BC has also been impacted by this downward trend. "Reversing this decline is a major priority for our organization and growth initiatives such as the Emerging Female Leader in Squash and strategic partnerships with organizations such as ProMOTION Plus and Buntain Insurance directly align with our sport association's mission and strategic direction" said Natasha Doucas, President of Squash BC.

The Emerging Female Leader in Squash program is presented by Squash BC in partnership with ProMOTION PLUS and Buntain Insurance.

 Elsa Snyder (right) Rebecca Vassilakakis (left)

The Emerging Female Leader in Squash program is presented by:


B.C. is developing a thriving community of female squash players that come together to play, compete, and share their love of the game. For opportunities to get more involved in squash, either recreationally or competitively, check out the following events and/or get in touch with your local squash facility to discover what opportunities are available for your level of play.  Get involved and connect with our community of passionate players!

Thanks to our community partners ProMOTION Plus, BUNTAIN Insurance and PROMOSAPIEN.



Women In Squash Calendar

Faces of Women in Squash - Volume 2: Bev Lawton

There is some 13,026 km from Vancouver to Australia where former VRC member Bev Lawton now lives.  But you can still feel the depth of her enthusiasm for the sport of squash like she was in the same room.

She claims that her squash lifestyle was a little bit motivated by her squash PRO husband and the easy transition to the sport as a result of her tennis-playing high school and college tenure.

She maintains that gym work is more of a necessary evil rather than enjoyment and the heavy fitness workout along with the squash culture played a huge role in her keeping her in the game in last twelve years.

"The social aspect of squash was a huge draw”, said Lawton.  "When I moved to Vancouver and was new to the squash community, the women at the club were very friendly. The après squash culture was the best way to meet new people.  Many of those women have become some of my closest friends". 

When asked about the kinds of things she would say to someone considering taking up the game, she stated "You can’t go wrong.  Squash provides a good workout, a great social aspect and it is a lifelong sport. You will be able to connect with people all over the world who play squash.  It is a community all on its own".

It is apparent what she has said to prospective players has worked well.  Because of her efforts, Squash BC there is an estimated 100+ women have taken up the game and a further large number of women have volunteered their time and energy to the sport. As a result of this level of influence in the sport, last year, Squash BC awarded Bev the President’s Plate, an annual award given to the Best Supporter of the Game and the Association. 

Now living on Australia's Gold Coast where you can see her play at the Carrara Squash Centre, Bev is still promoting women’s squash wherever she can especially through her new role as Facilities Director with Squash Australia.

Bev says "There is a new generation of women players starting to take shape and all comes from sharing the love of the game with others.   Squash BC and the women’s development groups have been instrumental in sharing thoughts and ideas as we all work together to see the number of women in squash grow". 

This year Bev Lawton was publicly recognized as the 2018 Recipient of Sport BC’s President’s Award for Squash at Sport BC’s annual Athlete of the Year Banquet that was held on March 13, 2019 at the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

Photo:  Bev Lawton, President's Plate Recipient on left, Natasha Doucas, President of Squash BC


The faces of women's squash is an eight-part series presented by the Emerging Female Leader in Squash initiative  dedicated to highlighting the broad spectrum of female squash players in British Columbia. The Emerging Female Leader in Squash is presented by ProMOTION PLUS,  Buntain Insurance and Promosapien.

Faces of Women's Squash in B.C.

Shahira Tejpar ~ November 2018

Shahira Tejpar was introduced to the game of squash as a teenager and her love of the game continued while attending Simon Fraser University (SFU).

"As a student having the courts on campus with unlimited access was very helpful in building my skills" says Shahira. The practice paid off and within the year Shahira would be playing on the SFU Squash Team.

From this berth on the university team she segued competitively into tournaments, both locally and throughout British Columbia. From this juncture she never looked back.

Shahira speaks candidly about how the game has been instrumental in finding a common ground in new communities while living abroad in France and Nairobi.

"By playing squash there is an instant access to a small strong community," she stated.

The sport has helped her develop many long-term friendships while also has playing a central role in sustaining her high level of health, fitness and competitive skills.

Women in Squash Week 2018

Success stories from Women's Squash Week 2018
The numbers are in. 18 Squash BC Member Clubs held 21 events to make Women's Squash Week 2018 an unqualified success!
We are still gathering participant numbers, but we estimate that we had 310 women come out and make the most of this celebration of squash and women. Some of the clubs shared their squash stories:
Kamloops Squash Association ran two event sessions! Turnout was solid, with 13 players and two coaches. Two players had played before and the rest were new to squash. We have some follow-up sessions planned - we look forward to getting these new squashers back to the courts! 
Nanaimo Squash Club had 12 women come out for the event and 11 of them returned for free clinic held after the event.

The Club handed out a 60-day pass and four 30-day passes along with lunch bag "prize" from Squash BC. 

Participants were offered additional promotional club membership passes which proved popular. The club is looking forward to seeing these women continue with our great game!

Cheam Leisure Centre had 17 women participate in their intro coaching and round robin event and enjoy some socializing afterwards with a glass of wine.

Bentall Centre Athletic Club's event had an exhibition match, skill development, and game play! 12 women participated and had lots of fun!
Squamish Squash Club"Our event was a great success... we had 6 new women sign up to attend our Ladies' Squash 8-week program that starts up this week which is great for our membership."
The Victoria Squash Club welcomed 20 women to their Women's Intro to Squash event on Saturday, September 22. There were four instructors on hand to show them the ropes and organize the round robins and between all the laughter and wine and appies, a good time was had by all! 
Bonsor Recreation Complex- 17 wonderful women attended the mini-coaching sessions, played games, enjoyed pizza and had lots of fun!

Vancouver Racquets Club held an exhibition match followed by 2 hours of drop-in/ round robin play and a reception afterwards in our bar. Result? 20 new/returning women interested in squash!  Added to the 15 volunteers = a total of 35 participants at VRC for the WSW 2018 event!
The Arbutus Club "The women's squash evening was a huge success... I counted 22 keen, athletic women during the evening, and Ian had all 5 courts buzzing with action. At the end of the night, many of the women seemed interested in creating an informal women's drop in on Thursday nights which would be fantastic."
The Jericho Tennis Club hosted two 'sold out' Women's Squash Events as part of the province wide BC Women In Squash Week. 
On Saturday Sept 15th, 10 women from both squash and tennis joined an Intro to Squash session.  These ladies had an opportunity to pick up a racquet and learn about the basics of the game.  It was a great time for everyone who had fun running around the court and meeting some new friends!
On Tuesday Sept 18th, 41 women (14 years to 60+!) came out for a round robin, reception and an intro to refereeing thanks to our very own Dara Sklar!  This was a great way for women of all levels to come together, have a laugh, and celebrate this beautiful game!
Huge thanks to our Squash Professionals Richard Yendell and Sarfaraz Ahmed for pulling this together as well as Promosapien for their support of this province wide initiative.
Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club celebrated women's squash with a mini tournament on Sep 22 and a free coaching clinic for any new players.
We had a good mix of 15 fantastic ladies that took part. New players were involved in the free coaching clinics while the other players took part in a mini tournament. One of the highlights was seeing Debbie Hungerford playing squash again for the first time in 30 years!
Thanks to Kristen Goldsmith, Laura Ramsay and Carolyn Russell for helping out and making this a terrific event!
Bayside (Parksville): "We had a great time...small community but it looks like we have seven new women interested in playing either in league or socially until they feel strong enough for league. We covered everything we said we would with lots of sharing and interaction from court to court."
Draw Winners!
Squash BC's Women in Squash Committee arranged a few draw prizes for Women Squash Week 2018 participants. We are excited to announce that:
Joanne Reaka, Megan McMillan, and Donna Barker who attended events held at Nelson, Jericho and Arbutus respectively have each won a racquet courtesy of Black Knight and Squash BC.
We will be reaching out through the Clubs to get these prizes to each of the winners!

Overall, we are thrilled at this year's Women's Squash Week. Again, thank you to participating clubs, coaches, pros and women ambassadors!
We also wish to thank our Community Partners:        




Events near you.

League Play

Playing league is a great way to get/stay fit, meet new friends, and have fun. There are many opportunities for women to play league in B.C., both recreationally  and competitively.

The Vancouver Squash League (VSL) being the largest league in the province is an amateur league for players in the Greater Vancouver area. There are both open and women only divisions. The teams are club based and players and it is expected that players are club members. For more information please check out the VSL website.

Victoria has a Women's Squash League. Please contact one of the local squash clubs to get more information. Cedar Hill Squash Club; St. Michael's University School; University of Victoria; and Victoria Squash Club.

For those in other parts of the province, please drop by your local squash club to see what leagues are available. You can find a list of our member clubs by clicking here.

And, for those who are interested in Doubles, Vancouver has a Ladies Doubles League (VLDL). The clubs that offers doubles are: Vancouver Racquets Club; Evergreen Squash Club; Hollyburn Country Club; and Vancouver Lawn and Tennis Club. Please contact the individual clubs to find out more about doubles squash.

There are more leagues across the province.  Check with your local club or contact the Squash BC office at [email protected]


Past Events