Women in Squash
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!
Check out our Women in Squash calendar to find out information as to how to get involved in B.C.'s squash community.
The 2020 Women's Squash Week will look a lot different this year due to Covid-19.
In previous years, we increased the number of participating clubs, the number of events and the number of participants new to squash in BC.
Women’s Squash Week (WSW) is an opportunity for clubs to encourage women and girls of all ages and skill levels to participate in singles and/or doubles squash in a fun, social environment. The goal is social, not competitive, play to inspire women to get back on court after the summer, reconnect with old friends, and introduce new women players to the sport.
Squash BC presents the 2020 Emerging Female Leaders in Squash
In February 2020, Squash BC was proud to present $500 grants to two clubs and their female leaders who promote women and girls in squash; Trish Campbell - Bayside Squash Club in Parksville and Jessica Evans - Cheam Leisure Center Mission/Chilliwack Squash Club. The grants are to be used to promote participation of women and girls in squash and to recognize female volunteers who are committed to promoting squash programs in their respective clubs.
"Jessica and Trish proved to be outstanding leaders in their communities in promoting squash to women and girls. Clubs rely on their volunteer hours to organize events such as women's squash clinics, leagues, fun tournaments and socials. We really appreciate the time and effort from these individuals to connect with the squash community" stated Shelley Neil, Chair of the Women & Girls in Squash Committee.
Parksville's Trish Campbell Helps to Double Squash Membership
The $500 Emerging Leaders grant has come at a time when the Bayside Squash Club is on an upswing. "This was not the case in 2018. We were losing members due to the loss of our social hub sports bar" said the thirty-five year squash veteran. "This year we took advantage of the promotional tools and momentum that Squash BC and Women's Squash Week offers and really worked it in the community".
"Trish played a major role in the success of our club and Women's Squash Week" commented Jan Townend also a member of the local squash club. "She has been instrumental in inspiring new members step onto the court and put a racquet in their hand".
Campbell and Townend's efforts have paid off. The club's membership has doubled helping to reenergize the members and club significantly.
Jessica Evans Boosts Women's Squash in Chilliwack
For Jessica Evans of Chilliwack her love of the sport she has been playing for close to a decade is shared between two cities. She supports the squash program at Cheam Leisure Centre in Mission where she works with Parks & REC and she volunteers her time as a squash instructor a few hours a week at the Chilliwack Squash Club. "Jessica was willing to drive from Mission to Chilliwack every week to help run the ladies program in Chilliwack. The ladies look up to her as a high level female player and her presence inspires ladies to keep coming out to play. She runs the “hot boxes” Chilliwack Women’s Squash Facebook group to help with communication and a sense of community. She has recently completed her level 1 coaching certification and also sits on the board of the Chilliwack Squash Club" explained Shawn Zwierzchowski the resident squash pro at the Chilliwack Squash Club who submitted Jessica's nomination.
Each for Equal: What can we do as individuals and organizations to advance gender equity in sport and beyond
On March 10th, Squash BC, along with other leaders in sport and recreation, shared “promising practices” when engaging girls and women in sport. Natasha Doucas, President of Squash BC, discussed the positive impacts of the organization’s initiatives on women and young leaders in sport, through its success with Women’s Squash Week, the Emerging Female Leader Grant Program and also the Emerging Female Forum.
Sharing in the panel discussion were peer leaders in Freestyle BC, Tennis BC, BC Adaptive Snowsports, and the Provincial Commissioner for Girl Guides of Canada.
The panelists emphasized the need for champions and leaders to ensure women’s voices be heard and to “create a safe space where girls can get to know each other and feel included, ease and comfort will allow them to learn better”.
This has been the approach of SquashBC’s Women’s Squash Week initiative since the organization took a successful local campaign in Vancouver and brought it to clubs and facilities throughout the province of BC a few years ago. This provincial initiative led by the organization’s Women & Girls in Squash Committee introduced a Female Ambassador program to drive more female engagement and participation. This approach has helped foster more participation of the game. One example is from the Squamish Squash Club where a record 58 women participated in Women’s Squash Week, 26 of whom were new players to the sport. There are many more similar success-stories from all around the province.
Another theme brought up during the panel discussion was the topic of ensuring a “seat at the table” for women. Referencing viaSport CEO Charlene Krepiakevich’s opening remarks, regarding building the confidence in girls and young women to create change, Natasha spoke about girls and young women knowing their value and holding their place when speaking up and sharing their thoughts for change.
The discussion continued on organization leadership. Squash BC has strived to have a gender equitable board and leadership structure. Having women on staff, on the Board, and in our committees has helped bring attention to female programming. This is positively impacting participation in squash and the culture of the sport.Read the full recap HERE
The Faces of Women in Squash is dedicated to highlighting the broad spectrum of female squash players in British Columbia. This section celebrates the diverse group of women and girls, from beginner to seasoned player, who play the sport for fitness, competition and fun. We hope that you will feel inspired by their stories.
Alicia Haneine - April 2020
Squash has been a lifelong passion of Alicia Haneine. She started playing when she was only six years old on squash courts in a facility her father built on the family’s property in Mexico City. She says it was a very informal place: no coaches, no professionals, just children and adults coming together to play and have fun. Nevertheless, with her older brother as a role model, she was playing on Mexico’s national junior team by the time she was twelve years old.
After earning a degree in marketing, she worked as an industrial marketing consultant and then in purchasing and marketing. She, her husband (a squash player she met on her family’s courts), and her first child immigrated to North Vancouver in 1998. There, she continued to work in marketing for various organizations, and in 2006 she and her husband began managing their own business renting furnished apartments for short or long-term accommodation.
Click Here to View Past Faces of Women in Squash
In 2019, Squash BC was proud to present two $500 grants to clubs that promote women and girls in squash ~ Bentall Athletic Centre in Vancouver (Elsa Snyder) and Nelson Squash Club (Rebecca Vassilakakis).
On October 5, 2019, Squash BC in partnership with the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) presented the Emerging Female Leaders Forum. The forum, the first of its kind Squash BC, was developed for the squash community and focused to increase squash participation and retention of women and in British Columbia.
“Great event! Loved all the passion and enthusiasm from everyone! Very motivated about moving forward with a bunch of the ideas and suggestions that came up, including having a central forum where all the participants as well as other like minded individuals can continue sharing experiences and feedback!”
Quote from Helen Kim, Ambassador, Women’s Squash Week,Vancouver Racquets ClubHow YOU can Participate in the Conversation