OTTAWA, ON (July 9, 2019) – The 2019 Pan Am Games are fast approaching, as top squash players from across the Americas have just under a month to prepare themselves, physically and mentally, for the competition in Lima, Peru.
Six of Canada’s world-class squash players will be representing the Great White North at the multi-sport games, all of whom are past Canadian Champions. Sam Cornett leads the women’s squad with four national titles (2019, 2015, 2014, 2013) including her impressive win this year over fellow teammate Hollie Naughton who follows closely behind with two national titles (2017, 2016). Danielle Letourneau rounds out the women’s team as the 2018 champion. On the men’s side, the team will feature Nick Sachvie (2019, 2017), Andrew Schnell (2018, 2016) and Shawn DeLierre (2015, 2013), who each have captured two national championships in their careers.
Sam and Danielle feel the bond they have built with their teammates works as an asset in competition. “We are looking forward to representing Canada at the Pan Am Games,” says the two. “One of our strengths is how close our team is. We think that by supporting and pushing each other to do our best, we will have a lot of success in Lima.”
Our six squash players are also part of the bigger picture, which is to represent Canada as a united front made up of athletes who each specialize in a different sport. The Pan Am Games are a unique, multi-sport event, joining 6,700 athletes in 36 different sports not by a shared sporting skill, but a shared desire to make their home country proud.
Hollie is one of the athletes who participated in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto and had this to say about the upcoming event in Lima, “So excited to be representing Canada at another Pan Am Games. We have all been putting in the work to bring back as much hardware as possible! Looking forward to the experience alongside my teammates!”
The Canadian squad, including alternates David Baillargeon and Nikki Todd, have been preparing this past week at a training camp at Club Sportif MAA in Montreal. Head Coach, Martin Heath, is putting team members through their paces, with a focus on doubles play, taking advantage of the club’s international softball doubles court, one of only two clubs in Canada with this capacity. “The team had a great training week in beautiful and balmy Montreal,” said Martin. “We were lucky to get to play at the historic downtown MAA club to practice singles and doubles, and we’re very grateful to the club and Yvon Provencal for making the camp easy and comfortable. Also thank you to Jason DeLierre and alternates David Baillargeon and Nikki Todd for helping out with competition and keeping themselves ready if needed. The team is in good shape, and with a few more practice matches prior to the Games in Lima, we should be in a great position to compete for medals in every event.”
“So stoked for Pan Ams! Thanks to Martin for organizing a great training camp to make sure we’re all performing at our best throughout the event. I can’t wait to dawn the flag once again alongside these amazing teammates!” – Andrew Schnell
The 2019 edition of the Pan Am Games will see a new medal event added for squash, as mixed doubles will make its debut. With men’s and women’s singles, doubles and team events, the Canadian team will look to equal or better its 6-medal haul at the 2015 Pan Am Games, where they were lifted by home soil advantage and a raucous Toronto crowd.
Squash Canada has learned that there will be no television or live streaming coverage of Lima 2019 due to no broadcaster picking up the rights to the Pan Am Games. While this is unfortunate, we strongly encourage you to follow the Squash Canada website (www.squash.ca) and our Social Media channels (Facebook, Twitter) for updates on our athletes as they compete for medals.