Canadian Squad set to Compete at Battle of the Border

OTTAWA (July 31, 2019) — It is almost that time of year, when 24 of Canada’s top junior squash players don their red and white gear and prepare to face our neighbours to the south in an epic battle of nations. Team Canada will meet Team USA at the beautiful The Club at White Oaks in Niagara on-the-Lake, from August 2nd to 4th.

“The “Battle of the Border” was initially founded in a Team Ontario vs Team USA format in 2004, by US-based Bryan Patterson and the late Mark Sachvie of Ontario, with groups of 4 players in each of the GU13, GU15, BU13, and BU15 sections. The GU17 and BU17 sections were added in 2005. For many players, the Battle of the Border has been their first introduction to representative international competition. The matches have always been played at The Club at White Oaks in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario (near St. Catharines and Niagara Falls). In 2015, Squash Canada took over responsibility for running the event, changing Team Ontario to Team Canada, and incorporating the Battle of the Border into the Canadian junior athlete pathway.”

A national junior training camp will be held from July 29th to August 1st, just prior to the competition. The camp was established to prepare Canada’s Battle of the Border Team, and to provide an opportunity for juniors who didn’t make the team to gain experience and practice with the squad. The camp will be led by a qualified group of coaches including Chris Sachvie, Tara Mullins, Manu Dutt, Matt Easingwood, Kyle Ogilvy and Dane Sharp.

“I am extremely excited to be back working with Squash Canada’s top junior players at the national development camp,” said Chris Sachvie. “White Oaks offers a great venue for the camp and the Battle of the Border. The main goals for the camp are preparing players for the Battle of the Border against Team USA and promoting a deeper understanding of the tactics and principles that the sport’s best players build their games around. We have a great slate of coaches lined up that will be running players through tactical, technical, mental, and physical sessions that will give them an understanding of what it takes to compete at the highest level. I also look forward to some evening spikeball and bocce matches in the courtyard behind White Oaks!”

The Battle of the Border event commences on August 2nd, with the final championship matches taking place on Sunday, August 4th.

The 2019 squad features a cross-country line up, spanning from British Columbia to Quebec. Nikhil Ismail, a member of Team Canada since 2016, leads the boys as a Battle of the Border veteran. Nikhil has had a great deal of success in his individual career, recently capturing a bronze medal at the 2019 Dutch Open. He also holds the title of national champion for 2014, 2017 and 2019.

Following in Nikhil’s footsteps is teammate Antonio Mendes from Alberta, who has produced some impressive results over the past year. Antonio recently captured a Silver medal at the 2019 Canadian Junior Closed and is the reigning provincial champion for Alberta.

The girl’s squad features U17 rising star, Taylor Mackay, also a 2019 Alberta Provincial Champion. Some of Taylor’s recent achievements include placing 5th at the 2018 Canadian Junior Open and finishing just shy of the podium at the 2019 Canadian Junior Closed with 4th place. Taylor will be looking to build upon this success against her American competitors at Battle of the Border.

Team Canada’s U15 member, Iman Shaheen, has proven to be very successful in her age category, capturing a bronze medal at both the 2019 Canadian Junior Closed and the 2018 Canadian Junior Open. She also recently defeated several older opponents at the U23 Canadian Junior Squash Championships, finishing 5th.

20 equally deserving athletes will be joining Nikhil, Antonio, Taylor and Iman at the highly contested event:

Squash Canada Battle of the Border roster:

Girls U17

Boys U17

Taylor Mackay (AB)

Nikhil Ismail (ON)

Alexandra Brown (BC)

Antonio Mendes (AB)

Leah McGillicuddy (ON)

Dylan Deverill (ON)

Summer Schofield (SK)

Amin Khan (ON)

Girls U15

Boys U15

Iman Shaheen (ON)

Alex Yuzpe (ON)

Amal Izhar (ON)

Ewan Harris (ON)

Maddison Laine (AB)

Daniel Deverill (ON)

Shirin Batra (ON)

Michael Knapp (AB)

Girls U13

Boys U13

Ashley Hall (ON)

Youssef Sarhan (QC)

Carla Van Remmen (AB)

Samuel Boulanger (AB)

Rachel Dirks (ON)

Carl-Edmund Roux (ON)

Sarah Aki (BC)

Roman Bicknell (BC)