In June 2020, Squash Canada’s Board established the mandate for a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Taskforce. The Taskforce was charged with creating a strategic framework for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The task force engaged squash community members from across the country who represented players, coaches, officials, administrators, parents, and volunteers and who were from diverse backgrounds.
The Taskforce met as a large group and subgroups to identify gaps and opportunities related to programming, promotion, and metrics. A significant project that occurred in collaboration with the Female Engagement and Gender Equity Committee was the creation and administration of a national survey on diversity, equity, and inclusion, which was completed in May 2021.
Based on work from the Taskforce and data captured through the national survey the following key areas were identified as barriers/gaps to full participation and engagement in squash by people from underrepresented groups:
- Lack of accessibility to courts, programs, and qualified coaching limits opportunities for underrepresented groups
- Lack of visible role models and mentors in all areas of the squash (i.e. coaches, administrators, officials, players) contributes to the perception that there is not a place for everyone in squash.
- Continued need for education/communication related to diversity, equity, and inclusion to “know and do better” for underrepresented communities
To address these gaps, the Taskforce prepared a three-year strategic plan focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Squash Canada Board approved the plan, and its targeted results and key initiatives as aligned with the four pillars of participation, performance, development, and governance that provide the foundation for Squash Canada’s overall organizational Strategic Plan. The 2021-24 IDEA strategic plan can be viewed HERE.
The plan sets an ambitious agenda to promote awareness and growth of the sport in a way where everyone, regardless of their background, can find their place to fully participate and enjoying being part of Canada’s squash community.