Allan Brown was fortunate to start playing squash as early as age 11 while attending a school in the North-East of England that had an extremely strong squash program. In fact, three of Allan’s school buddies went on to play for the England national team. Following school, Allan’s involvement in competitive squash continued at Oxford University and then for five years in London before he emigrated to Vancouver in 1975.
Since moving to Vancouver Allan has contributed extensively to squash, first as a competitive player and in later years in various organizational/leadership roles. Allan has had an especially significant impact through his leadership of two Squash BC fundraising campaigns. From 2005 to 2010, Allan was the chair of the 2020 Fund committee. In that period, fundraising initiatives more than tripled the Fund balance, passing the $200,000 threshold needed to trigger annual financial support for grassroots squash. Since early 2019, Allan has chaired the Squash BC Partnership Committee which has been engaged in raising donations to the Building the Future Fund for the purpose of kickstarting the Squash BC Growth Initiative. Despite COVID constraints, donation commitments to the kickstart fundraising campaign have already surpassed the initial campaign target of $330,000. For his role in these accomplishments, Allan was awarded Squash Canada’s Certificate of Achievement Award in 2009 (significant contributions to squash at the provincial or territory level) and the Jack Larsen trophy in 2020 (significant overall contributions to the development of Squash in BC).
His Passion for Squash
There are two primary reasons for Allan being passionate about squash and supporting the game. First, he very much values the benefits he personally derived from playing competitive squash and wants to do his part in strengthening the sport in BC so that future generations will have a similar opportunity. Secondly, he believes that the potential exists to significantly increase the sport’s popularity by raising public awareness of the characteristics of squash that differentiate it from other fitness activities, having Squash BC place much more emphasis on the promotion of squash as a recreational (versus competitive) activity and increasing Squash BC’s support for squash facilities – especially those that are publicly accessible.
Vision for Squash in BC
Historically, less than 20% of squash facilities in BC have had access to coaching services from staff or volunteers. Additionally, many of those facilities have had very limited (if any) financial support. Allan’s vision is that, with additional financing provided by the Growth Initiative, Squash BC will have the means to support volunteers at community squash facilities by equipping them with the tools and resources needed to develop their own in-house coaching capability, grow participation, and build programming that will be both sustainable and self-sufficient. The encouraging response to the initial testing of the Growth Initiative programs indicates that this vision is achievable.
Allan Brown has been a long-time contributor not only to the game of squash but also to Squash BC and we at Squash BC want to thank him for his dedication and passion. Thank you, Allan!
Stay tuned for Squash BC’s next interview!