Shawn Zwierzchowski was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. He and his family joined the Calgary Winter Club in 1995 and Shawn participated in racquet sports that included tennis and badminton. Shawn’s family was more of a badminton family at this time and Shawn was impressively pushing into the higher ranks of badminton. When he did not make a particular team, this led Shawn to pursue greater opportunities in the sport of squash.
Shawn had been introduced to the sport of squash while participating in a summer multi-sport camp where he tried 5 sports each day. He quickly became talented at the sport and started playing it more and more where it then became a hobby. In effect, Shawn later joined a competitive squash program and has not looked back ever since.
Roles with the Sport and with Squash BC
All of Shawn’s roles come down to the same basic thing: getting more people involved in squash and enjoying the sport. His roles include being a Roving Ambassador and a Roving Ambassador Program Coordinator with Squash BC, a member of the Court Advocacy Task Force and has been a part of the Squash BC membership committee.
Outside of Squash BC, Shawn is a squash coach and certified referee and is currently running squash classes and leagues in Chilliwack, BC. Shawn has led a successful program with a strong junior program and a drop in night in Mission, BC.
Rewarding Aspects of Being a Coach
Shawn is highly motivated and passionate about growing the sport and the individuals he coaches are what move him the most. He describes his favourite coaching moment as the moment when his student shouts out “I get it” and begins to understand the sport more. Whether that’s a kid making their first contact with the ball or a player working on their shot to improve their game, he loves the moment when something just clicks. Shawn calls this “the light bulb moment” as the single greatest reward of coaching is seeing a person’s face light up when the skills come to them.
Vision for the Sport
Shawn’s vision for the sport is to share the benefits of squash, help remove barriers for people to participate and to engage more players between the ages of 18 to 25. Squash is an amazing sport that needs to connect with more people for them to be introduced to the sport. In Shawn’s experience, about 70-80% of the people that step on the court come off saying “that was a lot more fun than I thought it would be, I need to do this again”.
Additionally, he has expressed his thoughts on incentivizing provincial and municipal investment to create publicly accessible courts. There is a need for more than one or two courts in a facility and this can help justify running a squash program. Squash needs to be easily accessible to involve the community.
Shawn Zwierzchowski is an instrumental part to the success of squash and to Squash BC and his dedication and contributions are much appreciated. Thank you, Shawn!
Stay tuned for Squash BC’s next interview!