Squash Canada’s first ever Performance Director, Jamie Hickox, has tendered his resignation after six years at the helm to pursue other interests. The former World #15, 1986 Canadian Men’s Open Champion and former Malaysian National Coach was instrumental in the rise to stardom of such great players as Nicol David and Ong Beng Hee, and after six years in Canada, has helped springboard Can
Squash Canada’s first ever Performance Director, Jamie Hickox, has tendered his resignation after six years at the helm to pursue other interests. The former World #15, 1986 Canadian Men’s Open Champion and former Malaysian National Coach was instrumental in the rise to stardom of such great players as Nicol David and Ong Beng Hee, and after six years in Canada, has helped springboard Canadian talent onto the international stage.
Squash Canada was extremely fortunate to have Jamie “return home” to Canada following a successful career on the PSA tour. Jamie developed his game through the highly successful British model of the 1980’s, reaching the World Junior Championship’s semi-final and then charged into the top-15 on the world circuit. Jamie earned global recognition as a player of fascinating talent and was a dangerous draw for even the highest ranks.
Following his competitive career, Jamie made a commitment to lead squash in a coaching and high performance capacity in several countries around the world before returning to Canada; his timing was perfect for Squash Canada.
“Over the past six years, Jamie initiated a huge paradigm shift in our athlete excellence program and our athlete development model”, said Lolly Gillen, President of Squash Canada. “Jamie’s reputation and execution within the Canadian squash community has given immense credibility to our organization and has gained us great respect amongst our international peers. Squash Canada will always have tremendous gratitude to Jamie for his constant professionalism and dedication to our sport; Canada’s future successes on the world stage will be a testament to Jamie’s legacy."
Hickox is credited with many athlete development program (ADP) initiatives, including regional tours and clinics, creation of national boys’ and girls’ athlete development camps, appointment of U17 through to U13 ADP coaches, instituting skill and fitness testing, and encouraging participation in international junior opens and Battle of the Border as critical development opportunities. He re-designed the high performance athlete training model, and engaged 10 primary coaches to guide squad members within a collaboratively developed, individualized yearly training plan. He also helped initiate a Squash Canada athlete funding system.
“It has been a great honor and a fantastic pleasure to serve the Canadian squash community over the last 6 years as Performance Director”, said Hickox. “My wife and I made the decision to come back to Canada for many reasons the main one being the many opportunities within squash in Canada. I was looking forward to getting set up at a club to continue my love for coaching. Instead, the timing of our arrival was perfect for the Performance Director role and I am very thankful to Squash Canada for entrusting me with the opportunity.
The main reason for moving on is to spend more time with my three children who are at a key age for personal development, and squash will continue to be a big part as they all love to play. I am also keen to have a more hands on coaching influence at clubs and in a region with the view to bring new faces to the game along with a vision to develop a high performance crew of athletes. I will continue to run sessions at the Elora Racquets and Fitness as well as supporting my wife, Joanna, as she begins her tenure at the Northfield Racquets & Fitness Club in Waterloo.
There are so many people to thank and appreciate. I have now seen firsthand the many unconditional hours the Squash Canada board members give to the cause. In particular, I have deep respect for our president, Lolly Gillen, who has given more than anyone’s fair share, as well as our ED, Dan Wolfenden, who offers such a professional manor is all dealings. Squash Canada is in great hands. The staff have been wonderful to work with, as have the community as a whole; we have an impressive pool of quality coaches who look after our athletes so well and an incredible army of referees from across the country who are at the forefront of new world initiatives.
Ultimately, I am so grateful to have been honored to work with many of our high performance athletes whether national champions or 10-year-old hopefuls with a huge smile and tons of potential. Our community members who aspire to reach the high performance level do so with great heart and exceptional professionalism. It has been a beautiful experience for me. May the Canadian torch burn bright for a 2024 Olympic bid!”
Squash Canada has formed a search committee to review the high performance and athlete development programs towards refining the role and to begin the recruitment process. While Squash Canada begins its search, Hickox has offered flexibility on his actual departure date to assist the association through the transition. It is expected that he will continue to serve into mid-October.