Barbara Cooper born October 8, 1949, lived in Brighton, England until immigrating to Canada in 1987 to become Head Squash Professional / Coach of the Mayfair Lakeshore Club in Toronto. In 2018, 31 years later, Barbara retired to pursue her career as a Grief and Suicide Prevention Specialist.
Barbara studied at Hove County Grammar School for Girls between 1961 and 1967 where she started playing squash at age 19 and achieved her first of 27 English caps at age 24. Between 1968 to 1971 she attended Chelsea College earning a diploma in physical education.
From 1971 and 1987 while playing the International Women’s Tour she owned and ran two high street sports stores, also becoming England’s Women’s National Squash Coach, Captain, and Manager from 1979 until 1987. Her highest world open ranking was #8 and was #1 World Masters #1 from Age 35 to 45.
Since arriving in Canada, Barbara has been totally immersed in supporting and developing squash in Canada, proudly playing for her newly adopted country in the 1994 Women’s World Team Championships in Guernsey. Squash Ontario awarded Barbara the Coaching Achievement Award in 2004. She became the Canadian National Squash Women’s Coach in 2006, was awarded the Squash Ontario Special Achievement Award in 2014 and in 2015 she was inducted into the Ontario Squash Hall of Fame. She continues to be a Master Coach Developer for the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and Squash Canada’s Coaching Program. Barbara remains Canada’s only Level 5 squash coach, writing a book on hardball doubles titled ‘Double Up’ for her major project and was proud to carry the torch as part of the 2015 Pan Am Games relay celebrations in Toronto.
In 2020, Barbara was recognized with the Community NCCP Coach Developer Award as one of Canada’s most deserving and influential Coach Developers. This was part of the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) annual awards.
Barbara has coach renowned players such as former World #21 Demer Holleran, former World #25 Melanie Jans but her pleasure was always in developing players of every age and standard.
Barbara is a highly decorated softball, hardball singles and hardball doubles champion:
- 5x Canadian Women’s Open Doubles – 1989, 1990 & 1993 (Cathy Covernton), 1994 & 1997 (Karen Jerome)
- 3x Canadian Women’s 40+ Doubles – 2019, 2020 & 2021 (Lolly Gillen)
- 2x Canadian Open Mixed Doubles – 1989 & 1993 (Al Hunt)
- Canadian Mixed 40+ Doubles – 2003 (Victor Harding)
- 2x World Doubles 45+ winner – 2000 & 2002 (Lolly Gillen)
- World Mixed 40+ Doubles winner – 2002 (Victor Harding)
- Canadian Open Hardball Singles – 1995
- Member of the Great Britain team that won the inaugural Women’s World Team title – 1979
- British Open and Nationals Over 35 – 1986
- Canadian 35+ Hardball singles – 1994
- 2x Canadian Softball 50+ Softball – 2000 & 2001
- World Masters 35+ Softball – 1985
- 2x World Masters 40+ Softball – 1992 & 1993
- World Masters 45+ Softball – 1998
Barbara has organized and chaired numerous national, provincial, and professional championships
- 1989, 1990, 1991 – Judy Travis Women’s Professional Championship
- 1995, 1996, 2012 – Canadian Doubles Championships
- 1998 – Canadian Mixed Doubles Championships
- 2000, 2001, 2016, 2017 – Canadian Singles Championships
- In the year 2000, the largest ever with 495 participants and 42 draws from Open, B, C, D
- 2018 – Canadian Junior Championship
- Co-Chair for Squash at the 2015 Pan Am Games (Toronto) with Anne Smith