Squash Canada announces first round of recipients of the IDEA Encouragement Fund

Squash Canada is delighted to announce the first five recipients of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Encouragement Fund, supported by the Government of Canada and Sport Canada’s Community Sport for All Initiative Fund.

The IDEA Encouragement Fund was established to promote participation in squash within Canada of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour), people living with disabilities (both visible and invisible), girls and women, LGBTQIA2S+, religious minorities, New Canadians, those who are neurodiverse, and other marginalized based on their ethnicity, socio-economic status, or other identity factors. The fund supports stakeholders looking to develop new and/or expand current initiatives that build capacity for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in squash.

The following five programs will be receiving financial support through the IDEA Encouragement Fund:

  • School Racquets Program – Columbus Centre Athletic Club

The School Racquets Program will partner with local schools to provide underserved high school students with the opportunity to participate in quality squash programming where they will learn stroke fundamentals, footwork, and rules of squash.

“It is with great excitement that we accept this funding,” shared Nicole Aron of Columbus Centre Athletic Club. “We have underserviced youth that will greatly benefit from this program. Squash is a great place to start kids on healthy habits, but also good decision-making processes. We are dedicated to growing the sport and community.”

  • Women’s Learn to Play Squash for Beginners – Club Aurora Fitness Centre

An introductory recreational program that emphasizes the technical aspects of the game of squash in a fun, the Women’s Learn to Play Squash for Beginners provides a social environment with an emphasis on skill development.

“Club Aurora and the Town of Aurora are so pleased to have received support from Squash Canada’s IDEA Encouragement Fund! This funding will aid Club Aurora in growing our, Beginner Learn to Play Squash for Women programming. Club Aurora is dedicated to providing a more diverse and inclusive programming for all,” said Wayne DeRyck of Club Aurora Fitness Centre.

  • Beginner Women’s Squash Program for Newcomers – Pickering Squash Club

Focusing on Newcomers to Canada, the Beginner Women’s Squash Program for Newcomers will provide a social and fun atmosphere for women to learn the sport of squash, as well as socialize, and build their confidence.

Nicole Pirko of Pickering Squash Club shared: “The support from Squash Canada’s IDEA encouragement fund will allow us to introduce our sport to women that are new to Canada and may be looking to get more involved in safe and social sport environment.”

  • PA Day ½ Day Camps – Parkview Squash Club

The Parkview Squash Club will run ½ day camps on PA Days, introducing local school-aged kids from underserved communities to squash. This initiative will provide the kids a safe and fun activity to keep them engaged on PA Days.

“When I saw Squash Canada was offering grants for the Squash Canada’s IDEA Encouragement Fund, I knew this was perfect for our club location to introduce squash on PA days to youths that aren’t able to afford to try squash,” said Craig Schiele of Parkview Squash Club. “Thank you so much Squash Canada!”

  • Africentric Cohort Squash Program – Kings County Squash Club

The Africentric Cohort is a program with multiple goals including improving educational outcomes, promoting Black Excellence, empowering students, and more. The squash program is a branch of the Africentric Cohort and strives to provide Black students with quality opportunities to participate in squash at both the training and competitive levels.

James Wiseman of Kings County Squash Club shared: “Kings County Squash Club is excited to receive funding from the IDEA Encouragement Fund. This funding will allow squash to be accessible to all players within our club. Our Africentric Cohort Squash Program is excited to get back on the court and this funding will allow our players to engage in quality squash programming.”

Squash Canada has announced a second call for applications (Read More) to the IDEA Encouragement Fund and welcomes applicants to review the Application Guide before submitting. The deadline for applications is October 28th, 2022, at 11:59pm EST.

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