2017-18 National Team Squads Announced by Squash Canada

2017-09-05
Signalling the start of the competitive season, Squash Canada is proud to announce the athletes named to its 2017-18 National Team Squads.
 
All eight members of the 2016-17 High Performance (HP) Squad had great seasons, helping them earn re-selection.  They are joined by two first-time members, David Baillargeon of Montreal, Quebec and Nicole Bunyan, of Victoria, BC. Canada’s 2017 Junior Women’s World Championship Team athletes finished ninth at the 2017 WSF World event, earning them a place on the Transition Squad.
 
“Canada’s squad members have been continuously climbing the ranks on the world scene over the past 12 months,” said Squash Canada’s Performance Director, Jamie Hickox.  “We revamped the National Team Program last season, focusing on increased support lending itself to further development of our athletes to achieve international success.”
 
“Our returning HP Squad features a group of eight athletes who have represented Canada well for a couple years now, who we are sure will continue to rise on the international stage.  Additionally, we are thrilled to see 2016-17 Transition squad members David and Nicole, make the jump to the HP squad after impressive competitive seasons.  Keeping the Canadian squash future bright is the promising young talented junior players who round out our Transition Squad.”
 
“The 22 athletes named to the NTP Squads this year display the talent, skill and passion to pursue and achieve international excellence.”
 
2017-18 NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM SQUADS
High Performance (HP) Squad
Nicole Bunyan, Victoria, BC David Baillargeon, Montreal, QC 
Sam Cornett, Toronto, ON Shawn De Lierre, Montreal, QC
Danielle Letourneau, Calgary, AB Mike McCue, Toronto, ON
Hollie Naughton, Mississauga, ON Nick Sachvie, St. Catharines, ON
Nikki Todd, Regina, SK Andrew Schnell, Calgary, AB
Transition ‘Pro’ Squad
  Cameron Seth, Fergus, ON
Transition ‘Amateur’ Squad
Hannah Blatt, Winnipeg, MB Michael Mehl, Shawnigan Lake, BC
Chloe Chemtob, Montreal, QC Graeme Schnell, Calgary, AB
Emma Jinks, Stratford, PEI Albert Shoihet, Toronto, ON
Nicole Kendall, Newmarket, ON  
Alyssa Mehta, Toronto, ON  
Charlotte Orcutt, Toronto, ON  
Micaala Seth, Brights Grove, ON  
Andrea Toth, Richmond, BC  
 
Nicole Bunyan’s play over the past 12 months has shown her drive and commitment to the game as she continues to better her play, including breaking into the top 70 on the PSA World Tour.  Nicole reached the quarter-finals at eight PSA World Tour tournaments, including appearances in two finals.  Bunyan and the entire women’s HP Squad sit in the top 70 in PSA World Rankings - Sam at #29, reigning Canadian Women’s Open Champ Hollie at #40, Danielle at #43, Nikki at #62 and Nicole reaching #63.  Only Egypt, England and Hong Kong can boast six or more women in the top 70.
 
David Baillargeon’s 2016-17 season was one of tremendous growth and impressive results both nationally and internationally.  Highlights of his 2016-17, and factors contributing to his move from the Transition Pro Squad to the HP squad include him reaching #123 in PSA Men’s World Rankings, reaching the semi-finals of the Guilfoyle Financial PSA Squash Classic 2017, 7 quarter-final appearances, winning the 2017 Canadian University and College Squash Championships, 5th place at the 2017 Canadian Squash Championships (Men’s Open division) and earning a spot on Team Canada for the 2017 WSF World Doubles Championships. Baillargeon joins the HP squad with Canada’s 2017 Men’s Open champion Sachvie, A. Schnell, veteran De Lierre and McCue, the four of whom sit in the top 100 of the PSA Men’s World Rankings.
 
The goal of the HP program and its Squads are to prepare Canadian athletes to achieve international excellence.  HP athletes receive coaching, athlete services, direct funding to support training stints and competition expenses, and follow a yearly training plan as counselled and monitored by a trio comprised of their primary coach, national coach and Squash Canada’s Performance Director. 
 
The Transition Squads aims to prepare the next generation of Canadian athletes to continue their elevated pathway and development towards achieving international excellence in the near future.  Two classifications exist within the Transition Squad – Professional and Amateur. Athletes who are Transition – Professional are those athletes who are actively pursuing a professional career by competing in Professional Squash Association (PSA) tournaments.  Transition – Amateur are those athletes who may be concentrating on their studies or who have yet to actively participate and perform on the PSA World Tour.
 
Last season, Canadian squads had 3 top-ten finishes in World Championships events, including most recently the dynamic softball doubles duo of Cornett and Todd who finished fifth at the 2017 WSF World Doubles Championships in Manchester, England.  
 
Up next for the Canadian squad athletes is the National Team Men’s Team trials in preparation of the 2017 WSF World Men’s Team Championships in Marseille, France, and the resumption of PSA competition.

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