Written by: Ocean Ma who is ranked #1 GU17 in Canada
Sunshine Squash Club was founded by four junior squash players from BC, Jacob Lin, Ocean Ma, WeiHan Wang, and Spring Ma, in the Year 2020, right after the Covid-19 pandemic started. In March 2020, everything was shut down, and we were taking online school. So there was no squash or any sports activities. The four of us started doing fitness at home on ZOOM together to keep fit and in shape, and it had a very effective turnout. When we realized that most of our peers wanted to join us, we motivated other kids to live a healthy life while being stuck at home by hosting “Fitness on Zoom” – online fitness sessions for two hours each week to promote active living during the lockdown.
With the objective of promoting squash and healthy living, we hosted many events and fundraisings to support and give back to our community. Our club has been successfully hosting many fundraising events and low-cost squash sessions to raise juniors’ passion for squash and with an opportunity to exchange experiences with each other. With last year’s squash season being canceled due to Covid-19, we hosted events that brought junior players who haven’t played competitively for over one year together for a fun warm-up tournament in the summer— “Game Day”, about 30 kids from all the Great Vancouver Clubs registered and played. Last September, our club participated in hosting Women’s squash week and organized an all-girls session to celebrate women in squash (squash is still a male-dominated sport). In October 2020 and 2021, we hosted our annual World Squash Day event with the purpose of promoting squash to new and younger players. It’s great to see some of the kids stick around and get serious in squash after we introduced them to this amazing, fun sport!
In 2022, Sunshine Squash Club organized weekly In-house leagues at River Club to get some of our junior squash players in the habit of competitive match playing. Furthermore, during Spring Break, our club organized a “Spring Break League Day” to specifically fundraise for the Canadian Junior Squash Championships 2022.
In April, Jacob, Spring, and Ocean participated in adult tournaments, Arbutus Club 2022 BC Closed and West Coast Classic, in which generous donors and sponsors provided the tournaments with prize money. All prize money that we earned from these tournaments was put into our fund for donations towards the 2022 Oxford Properties Canadian Squash Championships— with a total of $875.
Besides all the fundraising activities that we organized, there are also a few big donors and supporters of our club that we highly appreciate and are deserving of full acknowledgment. Since the establishment of Sunshine Squash Club, the high-performance squash players from Vancouver Squash Academy and Jericho Tennis Club, Henry Jiang, Norman Yue, Cynthia, Athena, and their mothers have all been dedicating their time and money to give our club their highest support. We want to give our special thanks to our coach Marco Toriz, who has been providing us with the facilities and squash courts to host these events. We are grateful for all our Sunshine Squash Club members and their supportive parents that come to our events and enthusiastically participate in our fundraisers. Last but not least, Squash BC gives us a lot of strong support as well, from advertising our events to acknowledging our progress. Sunshine Squash Club did not do this alone. Without them, we cannot go this far.
Through all these different events, fundraisers, tournament prizes, and supports from individuals, in the Year 2020, Sunshine Squash Club donated $3600 to Vancouver General Hospital. In the Year 2022, Sunshine Squash Club sponsored $1000 for the 2022 Canadian Junior Championships and $5000 for the upcoming Canadian Championships. Again, we want to emphasize how thankful we are for having such a loving squash community, which is why we want to actively give back to this community to the best of our abilities.