Squash Canada Adopts IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) Plan

In June 2020, Squash Canada’s Board established the mandate for a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Taskforce. The Taskforce was charged with creating a strategic framework for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The task force engaged squash community members from across the country who represented players, coaches, officials, administrators, parents, and volunteers and who were from diverse backgrounds.

The Taskforce met as a large group and subgroups to identify gaps and opportunities related to programming, promotion, and metrics. A significant project that occurred in collaboration with the Female Engagement and Gender Equity Committee was the creation and administration of a national survey on diversity, equity, and inclusion, which was completed in May 2021.

Based on work from the Taskforce and data captured through the national survey the following key areas were identified as barriers/gaps to full participation and engagement in squash by people from underrepresented groups:

  • Lack of accessibility to courts, programs, and qualified coaching limits opportunities for underrepresented groups
  • Lack of visible role models and mentors in all areas of the squash (i.e. coaches, administrators, officials, players) contributes to the perception that there is not a place for everyone in squash.
  • Continued need for education/communication related to diversity, equity, and inclusion to “know and do better” for underrepresented communities

To address these gaps, the Taskforce prepared a three-year strategic plan focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Squash Canada Board approved the plan, and its targeted results and key initiatives as aligned with the four pillars of participation, performance, development, and governance that provide the foundation for Squash Canada’s overall organizational Strategic Plan. The 2021-24 IDEA strategic plan can be viewed HERE.

The plan sets an ambitious agenda to promote awareness and growth of the sport in a way where everyone, regardless of their background, can find their place to fully participate and enjoying being part of Canada’s squash community.

Squash Canada Statement On Anti-Racism

Squash Canada Statement on Anti-Racism

OTTAWA, ON (July 15, 2020) — Squash Canada supports a safe, open, and inclusive environment for everyone.  Recent tragic events and subsequent protests in the United States, here at home in Canada, and around the globe have shone a spotlight on racial injustice.  We are once again reminded of the inequality and injustice that exists against the Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities in our society.

The past weeks have given us cause to reflect upon how we can be better, how we can do our part to effect change.  We do not have all the answers, but we unite with our members and all Canadians in the fight against racism.  We believe that starts with listening, dialogue, and amplifying diverse voices for positive change in our world through sport.

Beyond these words, we have been looking internally to determine what actions we must take moving forward.  As a starting point, Squash Canada is implementing the following steps:

  1. The formation of a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to listen and help us develop and implement a long-term strategy that delivers permanent organizational change, and allows us to become a leader in diversity and inclusion in the sporting community.
  1. A review and update of our current mission, vision, values, and strategic plan to reflect our commitment to being an inclusive sport community.
  1. A review and enhancement of our Diversity and Inclusivity Policy as an additional gateway for reform and action.

These actions are just the beginning; we will continue to have open and honest discussions with our community and beyond to bring change.  We invite the Canadian squash community to join us on this important journey.

Squash Canada recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Squash Canada recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is to remember the lost children, honour the survivors, and acknowledge the impact of residential schools on Indigenous people, their families, and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

“On September 30th, I invite the Canadian squash community to take time to learn more about the residential school system in Canada and its impact on Indigenous people. Participate by attending an event either in-person or online, or wear orange in honour of Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation,” stated Sandra Thompson, President of Squash Canada.

For more information on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Click Here
For more information on Orange Shirt Day – Click Here

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

Tabled in 2015, the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada are divided into two sections: legacy and reconciliation. These recommendations were created to “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation”, and now are serving as a barometer for Canada’s reconciliation progress.

The Calls to Action that relate to sport are listed below.

Sports and Reconciliation

87. We call upon all levels of government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, to provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history.

88. We call upon all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel.

89. We call upon the federal government to amend the Physical Activity and Sport Act to support reconciliation by ensuring that policies to promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being, reduce barriers to sports participation, increase the pursuit of excellence in sport, and build capacity in the Canadian sport system, are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples.

90. We call upon the federal government to ensure that national sports policies, programs, and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples, including, but not limited to, establishing:

i. In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, stable funding for, and access to, community sports programs that reflect the diverse cultures and traditional sporting activities of Aboriginal peoples.
ii. An elite athlete development program for Aboriginal athletes.
iii. Programs for coaches, trainers, and sports officials that are culturally relevant for Aboriginal peoples.
iv. Anti-racism awareness and training programs.

91. We call upon the officials and host countries of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth games to ensure that Indigenous peoples’ territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events.