Squash Canada Leaders Gather in Toronto for 2024 Annual Meeting and Awards

    The leaders of the Canadian squash community gathered in Toronto from June 20 to 22 for the 2024 Squash Canada Annual General Meeting and Awards, hosted at the Toronto Cricket, Skating, and Curling Club. This legally required meeting allows our membership to gather to discuss and approve several formal motions such as annual financial reports, appointment of auditors, elections to the Board, and more. The key highlights from the AGM were the appointment of Martha Simmons (ON) as the new President and Andrew Schnell (AB) as Athlete Director, and the elections of Sam Crawford (BC) and Sanjiv Samant (ON) as Directors at Large. 

    Statement from Squash Canada President Martha Simmons, Toronto, Ontario: 

    “What a wonderful three days we spent together, as leaders of the Squash Canada community, for our first in-person Squash Canada Annual General Meeting since 2019. I would like to thank everyone who made the trip to Toronto and offered their collaboration, opinion and ideas in our important strategic planning sessions. We also had an opportunity to celebrate the deserving recipients of the Certification of Appreciation, Certificate of Excellence and Certificate of Achievement, people who contribute immensely to our sport. The growth of squash across Canada would not be possible without the dedicated staff and volunteers at the local, provincial/territorial, and national levels. At the AGM, we had the opportunity to thank Sandra Thompson for her immense contribution to Squash Canada through her term as President, guiding us through the pandemic, multiple leadership changes and the build back to the strength we have today. I am delighted to be her successor as President and will call on her for sage guidance. We also were delighted to welcome three new Board members, Athlete Director Andrew Schnell, replacing Stephanie Edmison who has done a wonderful job over her tenure; and Sanjiv Samant and Sam Crawford, each of whom will undoubtedly make a significant contribution to Squash Canada. The Board looks forward to working together to serve the Squash Canada community and to advance the important strategic priorities identified by the group over the three-day AGM program.”      

    Athlete Director Andrew Schnell, Calgary, Alberta 

    Living in Calgary, Andrew is a former competitive squash player and National Squad athlete. He reached a career-high of World Ranked no. 60 in 2016 and has competed in three Pan American Games including Guadalajara (2011, men’s team SILVER), Toronto (2015, men’s team GOLD and men’s doubles SILVER), and Lima (2019, mixed doubles BRONZE and men’s team BRONZE). Andrew also won national open singles titles in 2016 and 2018 and received a BRONZE medal at the 2010 WSF World Junior Championships. 

    Andrew currently works for Osler, a leader in Canadian business law; he graduated from the law program at the University of Calgary in 2022. During law school, Andrew worked as a volunteer for Student Legal Assistance, appearing on behalf of individuals in both regional and provincial court. Throughout law school, Andrew maintained his status as a member of the Canadian national squash team, successfully balancing law school studies while winning several provincial and national competitions. 

    Andrew has completed both a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. He obtained a Social Sciences Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) scholarship for his Master’s thesis, which focused on Inclusion and Diversity in Canadian Sport. Andrew also founded the charity initiative, InspiredBySport, which utilized sport to assist underprivileged indigenous children in Morley, Alberta. 

    Director at Large Sam Crawford, Vancouver, British Columbia 

    Originally from New Zealand, Sam relocated to British Columbia in 2019 and has since settled down to enjoy the West Coast life recently becoming a Canadian Citizen. Having been heavily involved in squash organization and volunteerism back in New Zealand, Sam was employed as the Squash Director for Squash New Zealand from 2015-17 where he oversaw several committees including Referees, Grading List, High Performance and the master’s Committees. Sam was also responsible for the execution of 18 national and international annually, as well as being involved in the organization and execution of the 2017 World Masters Games Squash Event and 2017 World Junior Squash Championships. From 2012-15, Sam was involved in the Cambridge Racquets Club most notably as their Squash Chairperson from 2013-2015 where he sat on the Clubs management committee, overseeing club operations and strategic direction as well as all squash operations. Sam has been an active Board Member of Squash BC from 2021-2024 assisting in numerous areas including the development of the new strategic plan, and revamp of the Awards and Recognition program. 

    In Sam’s professional career Sam held the position of Senior Officer, Fundraising Events with VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation from 2019-2021 where he oversaw their signature events raising over $4 Million annually, as well as being responsible for corporate partnerships and supporting the strategic direction of events. Sam transitioned back into the sports sector from 2021-2024 working for BC Rugby as their Director of Community Rugby. Responsible for the oversight of events, competitions, club development, growth of the community game and fundraising Sam has further entrenched his experience of sport, and particularly the Canadian Sport system, having a strong understanding of the long-term athlete development model. Sam also assisted in the development of the new strategic plan and was responsible for ensuring his team met all deliverables and financial responsibilities, exceeding their targets year on year. 

    Sam is currently employed with Make-A-Wish Canada where he is the Manager, Development for the BC & Yukon Chapter. In this role Sam is responsible for executing all first party events, managing corporate partnerships and working with various partners through third party and signature events. This role allows Sam to raise necessary funds to grant wishes for those children with critical illness. 

    Sam is excited to contribute to Squash Canada in this board role. 

    Director at Large Sanjiv Samant, Toronto, Ontario 

    Sanjiv Samant established PROPELR Growth (formerly Round13 Growth) in 2020, as a Founder and Managing Partner. PROPELR Growth is a Toronto-based growth equity investment firm, investing in a wide range of technology and tech-enabled businesses with a focus on Canadian based opportunities. He has spent 20+ years in the technology & healthcare sectors and is one of Canada’s most experienced and widely respected growth company advisors and financiers. Prior to establishing the PROPELR Growth, Sanjiv headed the Technology, Media, Telecommunication (“TMT”), Sustainability and Healthcare investment banking group at a Canadian bank owned dealer. Prior to that, Sanjiv was Co-Head of the Canadian Investment Banking team at Canaccord Genuity. 

    Sanjiv holds a Bachelor of Arts, Economics from the University of Western Ontario, an MBA, Finance from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and an LLB, Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. Sanjiv also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Sanjiv resides in Toronto and is an avid singles and doubles squash player. 

    Squash Canada celebrated our squash community hosting an awards and banquet dinner on June 21. The annual Awards Celebration recognizes some of the great achievements and incredible volunteers who gave their time, effort, and passion to growing the game across the country. The Celebration also recognizes the on-court excellence achieved by some of our most talented athletes on the international scene. 

    Certificate of Achievement Award 

    Recognizing significant ongoing contribution to squash at the Provincial/Territorial level. 

    Alberta – CFO Women’s Week Organizing Committee (Elizabeth LaBorde, Colleen Hicke, Lauren Pohlman, Meghan Glenday, Katherine LaBorde, Erin Roberts)  

    Since 2014, the Calgary Winter Club has hosted the Women’s Squash Week where a volunteer committee was brought together for the first event and 10 years later that same committee is still present. The all-female committee’s efforts are year-round and are inspiring to young girls and women to play the game of squash.  

    Squash Alberta, and the Calgary Winter Club and all the individuals that it has served are extremely grateful for all that the CFO Women’s Week Organizing Committee has done and are forever in their debt!  

    British Columbia – Shawn Zwierzchowski  

    Shawn is an active member in the Squash BC community. He is a contributor to grassroots programming initiatives, leader of Roving Ambassador Program, and instrumental in the design and launch of Squash BC’s Wheelchair Squash and Community Champions programs. He is an established coach and volunteer and has taken significant steps to support the development of a new squash facility in Chilliwack.  

    Shawn is the kind of volunteer any organization would be thrilled to work with. He brings significant squash knowledge, contributes countless hours of his time, and is incredibly passionate about the growth and development of our sport.  

    Manitoba – Randy Fransoo  

    Randy is an active Board Member and Secretary for Squash Manitoba.  He is also a Provincial Referee and a major supporter of growing and developing officials in Manitoba. Earlier this year, he was the Tournament Referee for the 2024 Canadian Masters Team Championship held in Winnipeg, Manitoba.   

    Randy leads by example, supports and builds confidence of all the people he leads. Squash Manitoba thanks his for his leadership and enthusiasm and are proud to grant him this award.   

    New Brunswick – Harshith Maruthi Reddy  

    Harshith is a Board Member and Treasurer for Squash New Brunswick. He is constantly working to make Squash NB a better, more financially solid and impactful organization. Harshith recently joined the Squash NB contingent in Ottawa as part of their team to execute the CSAI project and grant.    

    Squash New Brunswick is proud of Harshith achievements and thanks him for his time.  

    Northwest Territories – Cassandra Trevisani  

    Cassandra is the NWT Squash Treasurer and first female nominee for the territory. She is a leader in inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility initiatives including Gender Equity Playbook and coaches in the New to Canada Squash program.  

    Nova Scotia – Adam Morris   

    Adam was a PSO Coordinator for Squash Nova Scotia for 1.5 years and always looks for ways to champion the sport of squash and contribute. Adam is able to deliver on commitments with exemplary passion and dedication and has helped showcase the sport to young athletes with the inflatable court, designed brochures, attended local tournaments and leagues as a photographer, and led Squash NS’s involvement in CSAI project. Squash Nova Scotia thanks Adam for his contributions and service.  

    Prince Edward Island – Seana Evans-Renaud  

    Seana is a Board Member for Squash PEI. She has grown the female participant list by hosting “Ladies Night” and Diva Tournament and is a big advocate and public speaker in the effort to find space for new squash courts on PEI.  

    Quebec – Charlotte Dab  

    Charlotte is an ambassador of women’s squash in Quebec due to her inclusive, approachable, calm yet enthusiastic demeanor. She is an enthusiastic organizer of women’s cut ins, and a coach adored by many young girls. 

    Certificate of Appreciation Award 

    Recognizing the efforts of those who have made a significant contribution to the sport of squash in Canada. 

    • Matt Easingwood, Tournament Chair – 2023 Canadian Junior Open and 2024 Canadian University and College Championships  
    • Trevor Borland, Tournament Chair – 2024 Canadian Masters Teams Championships  
    • Connor Turk and Dean Brown, Tournament Co-Chairs – 2024 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship  
    • Robin Clarke and Pat Richardson, Tournament Co-Chairs – 2024 Canadian Doubles Championships   
    • Bob Ballinger and David Duncalf, Tournament Co-Chairs – 2024 Canadian Junior Closed Championships and Canadian Squash Championships  
    • Sofia Navadeh, Tournament Referee – 2023 Canadian Junior Open  
    • Randy Fransoo, Tournament Referee – 2024 Canadian Masters Team Championship  
    • Jorge and Mariette Rabacal, Tournament Referees – 2024 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship  
    • Dave Fishburn, Tournament Referee – 2024 Canadian University and College Championships  
    • Mark Warren, Tournament Referee – 2024 Canadian Doubles Championship  
    • Curtis Gillespie, Tournament Referee – 2024 Canadian Junior Closed Championship  
    • Rod McDougall, Tournament Referee – 2024 Canadian Squash Championship  
    • Joe Ellis – retired as a National Referee/Assessor and member of the SCOC 

    Award of Excellence 

    Recognizing the efforts of those who have achieved excellence in squash Internationally. 

    • 2023 Pan American Junior Championships: Ewan Harris and Faazil Khan – Bronze, Men’s Doubles; Ashley Hall and Gabriella Waite – Bronze, Women’s Doubles; Ashley Hall, Amal Izhar, Maddison Laine, and Gabriella Waite – Bronze, Women’s Team. 
    • 2023 Pan American Games: Hollie Naughton – Bronze, Women’s Individual; Nicole Bunyan and George Crowne – Silver, Mixed Doubles; David Baillargeon, Graeme Schnell, and George Crowne – Bronze, Men’s Team; Hollie Naughton, Nicole Bunyan, and Nikole Todd – Silver, Women’s Team. 
    • Professional Squash Association (PSA): George Crowne – Champion, Windsor City Open 2023; Salah Eltorgman – Champion, Underhill Geomatics Sport Central Open 2023 and BKY Technologies Open 2023.