Female Engagement

Welcome to Squash Canada’s female engagement and gender equity program page. This page is the gateway to Squash Canada’s and other related organizations’ initiatives and resources designed to increase women and girls’ participation in squash in all roles and at all levels in Canada.

The federal government has established the goal of gender equity in sport at every level by 2035. Squash organizations at the national, provincial/territorial and community level are actively collaborating in the development and delivery of initiatives that strive to achieve that goal in our sport.

Please browse these pages to access resources and learn how you can become part of the movement to encourage more women and girls to enjoy all that squash has to offer.

Share your photos and stories at #sheCANsquash

Squash Canada, together with the Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee, is committed to supporting the growth of female participation in all aspects of squash.

Proud Supporter of Squash Canada’s Female Engagement Program

Funding and Grant Opportunities
Women in Squash Encouragement Fund

Funding for gender equity in sport was announced in the federal budget 2018 and aims to achieve gender equity in sport at every level by 2035. The Women in Squash Encouragement Fund has been established to promote women and girls participation in Squash in Canada including under-represented groups – women, people of low socioeconomic status, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, visible minorities, newcomers to Canada, and members of the LGBTQI2S community. The fund will support stakeholders looking to develop new and/or expand current initiatives that build capacity for gender equity in Squash.

Are you looking to increase women’s and girls’ participation in squash?   Do you have an idea and need funding to support it? Do you have an established project that can use some additional money? Apply for the Women in Squash Encouragement Fund and get some backing.

Key details:
The aggregate total for the Women in Squash Encouragement Fund in this fiscal year to be awarded by March 31, 2022 is $7000.  The Fund will award:

  • Ten grants valued at $700*

*The amount approved for each initiative could be more or less than the amount requested and will be based on the number of requests received, how closely the initiatives meet criteria, and consideration for providing support across the country.

Application Process Timeline:
The application process timeline is 8 weeks.  More specific dates are:

  • July 13: Application guidelines will be posted on Squash Canada’s website.  Communications will be sent out.
  • July 16: Online application opens
  • September 10 @ 11pm EST: Application deadline
  • September 11 to September 18: Applications will be reviewed
  • September 23: Recipients will receive notification of the outcome of their funding request
  • Week of September 27: Recipients will be announced on Squash Canada’s Webpage and Social Media

Women in Squash Encouragement Fund Grants

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include:

  • Provincial/Territorial squash associations
  • Club administrators
  • Club squash professionals
  • Community leaders and/or organizations
  • Schools
  • Squash associations *
  • Committees *
  • Squash players *

** Associations, committees and squash players must demonstrate in their application support to be received by their local Provincial/Territorial squash associations, squash professional(s) and/or club facility.

Applicants must be members of or affiliated with their respective provincial/territorial squash association.

See the full Women in Squash Encouragement Fund Application Guide for more complete information.

Applications can be submitted here: Women in Squash Encouragement Fund Application

** Should the Coronavirus affect the ability to run initiatives, they may be cancelled and/or postponed. Recipients will be notified of such actions by the Squash Canada Female Engagement and Gender Equity Committee.

This program is funded in part by the Government of Canada


Canadian Women & Sport is a national sport organization dedicated to creating an equitable and inclusive Canadian sport and physical activity system that empowers girls and women – as active participants and leaders – within and through sport. With a focus on systematic change, they partner with governments, organizations and leaders to challenge the status quo and to advance solutions that result in measurable change.

One of the programs it operates is the Women in Sport Encouragement (WISE) Fund that makes available funding dedicated to sport opportunities for women and girls to advance gender equity in sport.

Since 2004, Canadian Women & Sport has awarded $250,000 in WISE Fund grants through to leaders and organizations across Canada to help address the gender equity gap.

To learn more about the WISE Fund, visit their web page.

SIRC Researcher/Practitioner Match Grant

SIRC is committed to connecting researchers and sport organizations to build capacity and contribute to advancement and innovation in the Canadian sport and physical activity sector. With funding from Sport Canada, SIRC is excited to continue our Researcher/Practitioner Match Grant initiative, designed to support the mobilization of knowledge into practice through collaborations between sport organizations and researchers.

The Request for Proposals is now open! The deadline for applications is December 13, 2020 at 11:59pm EST. For more information and to apply – Click Here

2020 Project Priority: The Canadian sport system is committed to enhancing the participation of girls and women in all facets of sport and physical activity in Canada. To contribute to this priority, proposed Match Grant projects that will produce insight to inform sport organization action to enhance the participation and leadership of girls and women are encouraged. Research projects can use qualitative and/or quantitative approaches, and could include stakeholder research, communications analyses, evaluations, literature reviews, impact assessments, etc.

Provincial/Territorial Grants

Women’s Community Projects Funding – Yukon

Fund for women’s community projects ranging from training to organizational development and program expenses. Applications are on a rolling basis. Click Here

Saskatchewan High Performance Women in Coaching Mentorship Grant – Saskatchewan

Fund to develop competent female coaching in sports by connecting aspiring coaches with coaches with national and/or international experience. Click Here

Women to Watch Program – Manitoba

Women to Watch grant administered by Sport Manitoba and Sport Manitoba Coaching is provided on a monthly basis. The grant goal is to provide support for women in their sport of choice. Click Here

Women in Sport Supplemental Grant – Manitoba

Women in Sport Supplemental Grant

Women to Watch Grant Program – New Brunswick

Women to Watch Grant

Gender Equity Capacity Building Support Fund – Nova Scotia

Fund supports female engagement in sports as athletes and/or coaches. Applications are on a rolling basis. Click Here

Professional Development
All Female Courses


Virtual Doubles Certification Clinic and Online Assessment

Squash Canada is excited to announce a Virtual Doubles Certification Clinic and Online Assessment for Women. This event is part of the female engagement and gender equity program and will feature a 3 hour presentation by Mariette Rabacal, National Level Referee and Examiner, followed by a link to complete the online assessment.

The course is designed to introduce players to officiating and improve overall awareness and understanding of the rules of doubles squash and their interpretation.

  • Develop your skills and expand your knowledge
  • Build confidence in your reffing calls
  • Make sound judgements and ensure a safe and fair outcome to every match that you ref
  • Connect with and learn from others across Canada

Date: December 6, 2020
Time: 12:00pm-3:00pm EST
Cost: Free
To register: Click Here

Participants will be sent a link to access the clinic on the morning of December 6 2020



Brought to you by Squash Canada and the Female Leadership and Gender Equity Initiative

This course is designed to introduce female players to intermediate coaching and cover skills and drills, strokes and court movement, strategies and tactics, and match performance.

Date: March 20-22, 2020
(Rescheduled due to COVID-19 – New Date TBD)

Location: Mayfair Lakeshore, Toronto, ON
Cost: $129 + HST
Learning Facilitator: Marci Sier

Mentoring Programs
About The ProgramMentor Bios

Squash Canada Mentoring Programs provide multiple pathways to support female engagement in squash in Canada. Through both structured and self-directed programs, mentees will be invited to connect with mentors for guidance and advice to develop and enhance their squash competencies. Three program options have been developed: Formal, Informal, and High Performance.

Registration is now open for the Squash Canada Informal Mentoring Program.

What is the Informal Mentoring Program?

The Informal Mentoring Program has been created to give women in squash an opportunity to source high-level guidance and advice from within the squash community across Canada. The program is ideal for individuals who are keen to develop their skills, who may have questions or are looking for guidance within a specific or multiple areas of the sport.

How does the Informal Mentoring Program work?

Informal Mentorship is a self-directed model. Mentees will have access to multiple Mentors with a broad range of squash experience. Mentees are encouraged to reach out with questions related to their pursuit of development in squash. These connections are intended to be short-term, consisting of approximately one to three interactions per Mentor.

The program is not intended to be a resource for individuals looking for long-term planning and/or a dedicated long-term mentor.

Resources available to support the program 

This program includes supporting tools such as the “Mentor Guideline” and “Mentee Guideline”, which provide guidance on establishing boundaries, effective communication, and productivity of conversations. The program also includes an Informal Mentor Resource Directory, which lists the various mentors and the expertise that they are offering to share with mentees.

A Program Administrator is available to process mentor applications, give mentees access to the resources, and provide a point of contact for questions, clarifications, and concerns.  The administrator will not be facilitating the mentoring relationships.

Mentor Information

Mentors in this program can be involved in any aspect of squash in Canada:

  • Coaching
  • Officiating
  • Volunteering
  • Administration
  • Canadians at US schools/NCCA playing
  • PSA playing
  • And more..

What we are looking for in a Mentor:

  • Previous experience in squash
  • Willingness to provide ongoing support and guidance to a Mentee and to share knowledge and experience
  • A desire to be involved and to build community
  • Male, female, non-binary participants

Thank you for your interest in mentoring. Mentor applications for the 2020-2021 program are now closed. For further information or to inquire about other opportunities, please reach out to Tara Mullins, Female Engagement and Gender Equity Project lead: tara.mullins@squash.ca.

Mentee Information

Mentees in this program can be involved in any aspect of squash in Canada

  • Coaching
  • Playing
  • Officiating
  • Volunteering
  • Administration
  • Canadians at US schools/NCCA playing
  • PSA playing
  • And more…

What we are looking for in a mentee:

  • A female squash enthusiast looking for advice regarding a topic in squash
  • A female in squash who wants to grow in an aspect of the sport
  • A female in squash without access to an identifiable mentor in their network or limited supporting resources in their area
  • A desire to be involved and to build community

As a self-directed program, mentees are to be accountable for their own journey.  To help support mentees through this process, mentees will be given access to the Informal Mentor Resource Directory, Informal Mentor Tracking Sheet, and the Mentee Guideline.

Mentees can register for the program now by contacting the administrator at mentoring@squash.ca.

Female Engagement & Gender Equity Strategic PlanNational Gender Participation Survey 2020Jumpstart - Keeping Girls in SportCanadian Women & Sport - Gender Equity LENSShe's Got It All CampaignCanadian Journal for Women in CoachingOther Published Findings & Documents

Female Engagement and Gender Equity Strategic Plan

Squash Canada is pleased to share our Strategic Plan for Female Engagement and Gender Equity in our sport in Canada. Click Here for the Female Engagement and Gender Equity Strategic Plan 2020.




National Gender Participation Survey 2020

Squash Canada is committed to improving gender equity and increasing female engagement in all roles and at all levels in squash. This infographic illustrates our current state and why gender equity is vital to growing our sport. It also includes a shout-out to leaders from across Canada who are working to grow female participation. #sheCANsquash



Jumpstart – Keeping Girls in Sport

Keeping Girls in Sport was created to help everyone who coaches girls, even parents, understand how girls develop physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. When we understand how and why girls play we can help every young athlete stay in sport, reach their potential, and remain active long after the competitions end. Finally becoming the next generation of inspiring female coaches and role models.

Canadian Women & Sport: Our new Gender Equity LENS e-learning module gives you the information and tools you need to act on your commitment to gender equity, helping you make policy and program decisions to better serve women and girls in your sport.

You’ll learn how to bring a gender lens to your decision-making and create the conditions to support women and girls to participate, lead and stay involved.

She’s got it all: passion, determination, and a lack of athletic women as role models. Only about one in four squash coaches are women. Let’s change the game at yourrole.womenandsport.ca





Introduced in 2000, the Canadian Journal for Women in Coaching provides timely, accurate, targeted information to aid in creating a healthier and more positive environment for women coaches – in Canada and around the world.

Other Published Findings & Documents

Developed by Canadian Women & SportShe Belongs is a resource for coaches that provides recommendations to create social connection and better engage girls in the Learn to Train and Train to Train stages of the Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity Framework (LTD)

Upcoming Events



BOUNCING BACK FROM COVID-19: Challenges and Solution for Women’s Squash

Squash Canada’s Female Engagement and Gender Equity Program invites all those involved in building women’s squash to connect via an interactive webinar about Bouncing Back from COVID-19. You’ll have an opportunity to share your experiences managing squash through a pandemic and to help develop solutions to bring squash back to the community in 2021. The session includes a learning and development portion, ‘Bouncing Back: Mental resiliency for coaches and players’, with Marci Sier, Certified Mental Performance Consultant and NCCP Competition Development Coach.

Registration is available on three dates @ 5:30pm in three different time zones. Register today and join the conversation!

Gender Equity in Squash: Join the Conversation, Build Awareness and Grow our Sport

Past Events
Women's Open, A, B Development Training ClinicWomen in Officiating - Rules Clinic

Women’s Open, A, B Development Training

In March 2020, more than 15 players participated in the Women’s Open, A, B Development Training pilot event in Toronto. This event was designed as a special 3-hour clinic with high level coaching focused on stretching one’s game. Coaching was provided by top female coaches: Melanie Jans, Tara Mullins, Stephanie Edmison, Marci Sier and Marnie Baizley. Thank you to the Toronto Skating and Curling Club and Robin Clarke, Squash Professional, and for supporting this event.

Women in Officiating – Rules Clinic

In March 2020, the Women in Officiating pilot event was hosted in partnership with the Calgary CFO Consulting Services Women’s Squash Week. This event was designed as a learning and development pilot to provide the opportunity for participants to improve their skills and knowledge in refereeing both in course and during real time play. Over 15 participants joined Penny Glover, National Level Referee, for an all women’s rules clinic and then leveraged mentorship from 4 certified officials for practical support by the courts. Thank you to the Squash Alberta’s Programming for Women’s Squash Committee, the Calgary Winter Club and Glen Stark, Squash Professional, Caroline DeVries, Aya Okamoto, Sandra Gad, Gwynne Bykowski and Rod McDougall for supporting this event.

Showcasing and Sharing Successes
Women in Squash Encouragement Fund

Women in Squash Encouragement Fund 

The Women in Squash Encouragement Fund was established to promote women and girl’s participation in Squash in Canada. The fund supports stakeholders that are developing new and/or are expanding current initiatives that build capacity for gender equity in Squash. In 2019, a total of $7400 was distributed to eleven recipients across Canada.

Women in Squash Encouragement Fund 2019 Events Recap (PDF) – Click Here

Inspiring Women in Sport Across Canada

Squash Canada is delighted to highlight the achievements of female athletes, referees, coaches and volunteers who are making an impact in sport across Canada.

Click to read the complete bios online

Sustainable Women's Programming

Ontario Basketball Association – Ontario

The Ontario Basketball Association organized an all-women education symposium that leveraged community organizations such as the Ryerson University Women’s Basketball Team and Lady Ballers, an organization which provides summer camps for marginalized youth.

The Northwest Territories Soccer Association – NWT

The Northwest Territories Soccer Association used a grant to invite coaches from BC and Saskatchewan to NWT. This eliminated some of the barriers of accessing coaching certification in the north.

Scenic City Squash – Tennessee, USA

Scenic City Squash focused on engaging high school girls in its program to supplement the mixed middle school programs. The goal is to develop a competitive team and be able to send them to nationals.