Squash Canada is proud to share the results of our Pan Am Junior team who have just returned from Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Canadian players Ewan Harris (ON), Rio Schafer (BC), Christian Yuen (BC), Aleeza Khan (ON), Maddison Laine (AB), Leah McGillicuddy (ON), and Raya Singh (ON), as well as their coaches Richard Yendell and Giselle Delgado, flew over two days to reach Cochabamba and competed in difficult altitude – 2,558m (8,392 feet)! Team member Weihan Wang (BC) also made the journey but regrettably was unable to compete due to Covid protocols.
Highlights from the week include bronze medals for mixed doubles pair Ewan Harris and Raya Singh, bronze medals for women’s doubles pair Aleeza Khan and Maddison Laine, and bronze medals for the women’s team Leah McGillicuddy, Aleeza Khan, Raya Singh, and Maddison Laine. Our men’s team of Ewan Harris, Christian Yuen, and Rio Schafer pushed to a 5th place finish.
“These games are incredibly important in the development of our top junior players,” says Lolly Gillen, Secretary General of the FPS Executive Committee. “The opportunity to play at different altitudes (Cochabamba at 2,558 metres versus Toronto at 76) and against drastically different styles of players forces our athletes to rethink their strategy and their fitness. To witness the passion and desire to win for your country these athletes exude is intoxicating. Team Canada’s camaraderie was instantly remarkable; I was so proud to be Canadian.”
Here’s some insight into the intense week of squash from coach Richard Yendell:
“Pan Am juniors was a great experience to compete at altitude for the first time and be immersed in a new environment and culture. Competing in singles, softball doubles followed by team competition provides our juniors with the experience of what a major Games would be like. The atmosphere, high-quality opposition and camaraderie of all the juniors was great to witness.”
The Pan American Junior Championships are an important event for our athletes in their long term player development journey. Here’s what coach Giselle Delgado has to say:
“It was a very long week in a foreign place with a different language playing squash in conditions they are not used to (altitude), so all things considered I think this group did well. Their effort was good and they represented Canada the best they could but there was a clear wall they all hit during matches which separated them from the finalists. The altitude was crushing and being able to execute the right tactics, move the ball around and apply pressure with the bouncy ball was a must. It’s hard to replicate the low oxygen they experienced but it would be beneficial if they played with single dot balls more often back at home since many if not all our courts are air-conditioned. This experience will hopefully motivate the players to go back and work on their game to get more opportunities to travel and meet more new people!”
Thank you to our athletes and coaches for representing Squash Canada. We look forward to seeing what you accomplish next!
Results – Click Here