Faces of Women in Squash
Bev Lawton ~ March 2018
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
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.