Melanie Jans was born July 3, 1973, in Montreal, Quebec. She started playing squash at the Georgetown Racquet Club in Georgetown, Ontario at the age of 11. She won her first Canadian Junior National title (U15) in 1987 at age 14 years, the U17 in 1988 and 1989 and the U19 in 1991 and 1992. In 1991, the right hander joined the Women’s International Players’ Association (WISPA) and by 1999 had reached a career high of 25th in the World. Melanie went on to win four Canadian National Women’s Open titles (1998, 2000, 2001 and 2005) and represented Canada for 14 years capturing Gold in the Women’s Individual and Women’s Team event at the 1999 Pan Am Games (Winnipeg, Canada) and Silver at the Individual and Women’s Team event in the 2003 Pan Am Games (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic).
In addition to her four WISPA titles and nine Canadian singles titles, Melanie won the 1999 Canadian Open Mixed Doubles Championship with Patrick Richardson, was the Canadian National Women’s Team coach in 2014 and was inducted into the Ontario Squash Hall of Fame in 2015.
Melanie credits much of her success to her incredibly supportive parents, Audrey and Murray and for the opportunity to work with such incredible coaches. Barbara Cooper and Mike Way had the most impact on her game during different times in her life. Not only were they great coaches but mentors as well. They were passionate about the game and coaching but cared deeply about their students. Melanie retired from the tour in 2006 and is now a Certified Level 3 Coach working with young kids implementing the same approach she experienced while training under Cooper and Way.
Melanie attributes her excellent fitness during her playing career to Bob Bowers, one of finest strengthening coaches in Canada and for the opportunity of having dear friend and former national team member Marnie Baizley as her training partner. Through her extremely high work ethic and professionalism, Melanie was able to maximize her athletic ability to become one of Canada’s most successful female players and she continues to be recognized as one of Canada’s greatest ambassadors for squash.