OTTAWA, ON (August 20th, 2019) – After seven years coaching squash in Canada, Graeme Williams has announced he will be leaving his respective positions as Women’s National Coach for Squash Canada and Head Squash Professional at the Windsor Squash and Fitness Club. While Graeme has made many fond memories during his time in Canada, it has come time for new beginnings, as he moves on to be the Head Coach at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
Graeme first moved to Windsor, Ontario in May 2012, in hopes of creating more opportunity, and thus a better lifestyle, for his young family. The Windsor Squash and Fitness Club welcomed him with open arms, supporting Graeme and his goals for the program. The owners and management gave him the freedom necessary to grow the junior program from just a handful of kids to over a 100, an accomplishment that Graeme takes great pride in.
In 2014, Graeme joined Squash Canada as the Women’s National Coach. He made many fond memories at events such as the 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as the 2019 and 2015 Pan Am Games. Perhaps the biggest highlight in Graeme’s coaching career was achieving a Top 8 Finish with the Canadian Women’s squad at the 2018 Women’s World Team Squash Championships in Dalian, China.
Throughout his time in Canada, Graeme has been recognized as one of the top coaches, receiving the “Squash Ontario Coach of the Year” award in 2016 and the “Trailblazer Coach Award” at the 2016 Ontario Coaching Excellence Awards.
Graeme impacted the lives of the country’s top squash players, one of them being World #29 Hollie Naughton, who is grateful for his mentorship throughout her career. “Where to begin, you don’t get many coaches like Graeme and it is a great loss to Squash Canada,” said Hollie. “His ability to adapt to each of our unique characters and understand what we each needed to get the best out of us is a serious gift. His professionalism was a pleasure to work with from our first trip to Toluca to our last in Lima. Graeme you will be greatly missed, the Philadelphia squash community are very lucky to have you and I am sure your career will keep growing!”
Sam Cornett, a Canadian icon in Women’s squash, and current World #32, has been coached by Graeme at many international events in recent years. “I can’t say enough good things about Graeme Williams, from his coaching style, his approach to his job, to his attention to detail,” said Sam. “He has been a rock for us at each event. He has always looked for and asked for more ways to help us at events. On or off court, I really appreciate his time. I wish him and his beautiful family all the best moving forward, but I am of course sad that it’s not with Squash Canada. See you soon, I hope!”
Martin Heath, High Performance Director with Squash Canada, worked alongside Graeme while coaching at the recent 2019 Pan Am Games. “Graeme is a world class coach, committed and professional, and will be sadly missed from the High Performance Program at Squash Canada,” said Martin. “I personally am very grateful for the time we managed to spend coaching together and chatting about the game, and I learned a lot from watching him operate. I wish him all the best as he develops his career.”
“Graeme’s progress in Canada’s professional coaching community is honourable, and he has gained significant respect within all levels of his influence, from club level to juniors, to our international representatives,” said President of Squash Canada, Steve Wren. “Graeme, the Board of Directors wish you all the success you deserve in your professional squash coaching career”
“Graeme has been such a great asset to Squash Canada’s High Performance Program over the last six years. His work with our elite women and junior development programming has helped Canada progress on the international scene. We thank him for his many contributions.” – Dan Wolfenden, Squash Canada Executive Director
The next chapter in Graeme’s life begins in Pennsylvania, where he will fill the role of Head Coach at the Philadelphia Cricket club and is looking forward to working alongside Rich Wade and the rest of the team.
“I am truly grateful to everyone at Squash Canada and the wider squash community in the country,” said Graeme. “I have been afforded the great honour of working with the national team for five years and I want to thank the players for there professionalism and dedication over that period. I wish them all the best for the future. Special thanks to Jamie Hickox and Danny De Costa for giving me the initial chance to work with the team. More recently Dan Wolfenden and Martin Heath for their continued belief in me. I am leaving Canada a better coach than I arrived and will always look back fondly on this period in my career.”