30 of BC’s female leaders congregated at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club, March 24-25 for Squash BC’s inaugural Women in Squash: Leadership Conference. The weekend was full of ideas and experiences in continuing the growth of women and girls participation in squash across the province. The conference started with a fantastic panel discussion from female leaders discussing successes and challenges that they have experienced growing female participation in the sport. After the panel discussion former PSA #12 Vicky Lust joined the conference for a fireside chat discussing her experiences as a female coach, playing on the PSA tour and more! To wrap-up the first night of the conference participants jumped onto the squash court for some fun mix-and-match singles, doubles and Squash 57 matches. The conference finished on Saturday when Giselle Delgado facilitated Squash Canada’s new Community Squash Instructor course for the first time in BC. The course was sold out with female leaders looking to grow squash participation in their communities.
Squash BC would like to extend a HUGE thank you to our presenters. Panelists Ruth Castellino, Sue Griffin, Shelley Neil, and Dara Sklar provided some incredible insights about building successful female-focused programs. Squash BC will be sharing highlights from the panel discussion on our social media platforms, so keep an eye for the exciting discussion! While the late pivot to a virtual setup for the fireside chat was not what we originally had in mind, Vicky brought her usual quick wit and leveraged her impressive resume of experiences as a player and coach to keep us all engaged throughout the presentation. Thanks Vicky!
Squash BC would like to thank the team that put forth this event. Our staff members Josh and Jake kept things running smoothly and took care of most of the pre-event work that goes unseen for this kind of weekend. And most importantly, our incredible Host, Moderator, Participant Recruiter, and (of course) President Natasha made the weekend fun, informative, and engaging. This event truly couldn’t have happened without her! Squash BC would also like to thank the Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club for letting us host the event at their amazing venue. A special thank you has to go out to the viaSport LeadForward Grant funding for making this conference possible and Squash Canada’s IDEA funding for covering costs for participants who registered for the coaching course.
Emerging Female Leader – Kira Gwadry
This year Squash BC is excited to award Vancouver Squash Academy/River Club’s Kira Gwadry the Emerging Female Leader grant! This $500 grant supports a female leader in her design and delivery of squash programs for women and girls through the remainder 2023. Kira will be leading weekly sessions at River Club with support and mentorship from Jessica Almaguer. The weekly programming will have an introductory focus for women and girls to be introduced to the sport of squash with the aim to build a passion for the sport and confidence among the participants to register for the upcoming VSL and other tournaments this coming season. We look forward to seeing this program take place at River Club and continue the growth of female participation in the Richmond area.
We thank our Women in Squash Partner Buntain Insurance for supporting this initiative. As part of Squash BC’s Women in Squash initiatives, the Emerging Female Leader Grant Program supports female leaders at Squash BC member clubs to promote the participation of women and girls in squash. Squash BC thanks all clubs that have nominated Female Ambassadors for this grant.
Squash Canada Community Instructor Course
Squash BC was excited to offer Squash Canada’s new Community Instructor Course to 11 female leaders in the squash community. The course was facilitated by Team BC 2023 Canada Winter Games coach Giselle Delgado, who led the team in sweeping all 4 gold medals in the competition. The course participants had an action packed day of learning the fundamentals of coaching a grassroots player and how to support squash programming at their local communities. Squash BC would like to congratulate the following course participants and look forward in seeing them support the growth of the sport:
- Jennifer Arntorp
- Carolyn Binns
- Natasha Doucas
- Henny Habibpour
- Lorraine June
- Mary Anne Keilty
- Elisha Liu
- Olivia Maxwell
- Shelley Neil
- Dara Sklar
- Anastasiya Spivak
Squash BC would like to thank Giselle Delgado on hosting a fantastic course!