BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PROFESSIONAL STAFF

Steve Wren, President
Shaun Thorson, Vice President – Finance
Stephanie Edmison, Athlete Director
Lisa Henderson, Director-at-Large
Sandra Thompson, Director-at-Large
Bruce Marrison, Director-at-Large
Carol Stewart, Director-at-Large
Alan Fern, Director-at-Large

Dan Wolfenden, Executive Director
Jamie Nicholls, Director of Athlete Development
Geoff Johnson, Programs Manager
Tara Mullins, Female Engagement & Gender Equity Project Lead

INTRODUCTION

The sport of squash and Squash Canada, like the rest of the world, has experienced a dreadful pandemic that has significantly curtailed activities, but so too has it caused us to pivot to new programming, find other ways to do business, become more resilient, innovative and collaborative. It has given cause for Squash Canada and its stakeholders to come together, to not only plan squash’s recovery but to boldly dream and put in pace a clear plan for…growth.

Such is Passion, Pride, Performance…Inspiring Growth: Squash Canada’s Strategic Plan 2021 – 2024.

It is with great pleasure that we share our strategic plan … a culmination of a nine-month journey that had us connect with our Provincial/Territorial Members and key stakeholders. This plan reflects our organization’s desire to better meet the needs of our Members, and plan more strategically together, with a view of casting a longer-term horizon upon which we can set and achieve goals and objectives that have been deemed necessary and important by all of our Members.

This plan sets out an ambitious vision for Squash Canada over the next three years. It paves the way for a promising future where more people of diverse backgrounds become aware of squash, enjoy the inclusion and benefits of playing, coaching and officiating, and more athletes are on a defined path to achieve their full potential. It sets the tone for greater accountability where we look to make important investments in our capacity to deliver on our promises. It signals our desire to communicate proactively and build a greater sense of trust and community.

We are proud of the care and attention that went into building this plan and the active engagement that provided our Members with the opportunity to contribute. We know that we will need to ensure financial sustainability in order to achieve these goals. We hope that you will feel as inspired as we do after reading this plan and look to the future with a sense of increased belonging and a deepened commitment. Both are required to bring this plan to life.

Yours in squash,

Steve Wren            Dan Wolfenden
President                Executive Director

ABOUT SQUASH CANADA

Squash Canada is a non-profit, national sport association responsible, in collaboration with its partner Provincial/Territorial squash associations (PTs), for development of athletes, coaches and officials. Founded in 1915, Squash Canada establishes rules, standards and national programs to promote the growth and development of the sport across the country.

Squash Canada is recognized by the Government of Canada as the sole national sport governing body for squash in Canada. Squash Canada is a proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Commonwealth Games Canada, and Pan American and World Squash Federations. Squash Canada participates in the Pan American Championships, Commonwealth and Pan Am Games, as well as the World Team Championships at the junior and senior levels.

STRATEGIC FOUNDATION

VISION

Be a world leading squash nation while inspiring all Canadians to participate.

MISSION

To provide a safe and inclusive environment for all Canadians to enjoy, develop and excel at the sport of squash through collaborative leadership, services and programs.

VALUES

Our core values describe our organizational culture and guide us in our decision-making processes and actions.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION - PARTICIPATION

Squash promotion and marketing, towards participation and membership development.

EXPECTED RESULTS

1.1 Increased squash membership.

1.2 Increased safe sport measures for all squash participants.

1.3 Increased participation at national and provincial sanctioned events.

1.4 Increased participation in under-represented groups.

1.5 Increased awareness of squash.

KEY INITIATIVES

  1. Continue to develop and deliver targeted diversity, equity and inclusion programming in collaboration with PTs to grow and diversify membership.

  2. Develop new recreational level programming, including for hardball doubles, softball doubles and Squash57, and enhance the recreational player membership value proposition in collaboration with PTs to better attract and serve this predominant participant type.

  3. Develop a National Membership Reporting model to capture key membership numbers and data.

  4. Develop and adopt a tool for PTs to measure and report on participation and satisfaction levels.

  5. Produce social media and digital broadcasting content, and engage social media influencers to broadly promote and positively portray the sport to current and would-be consumers and partners.

  6. Develop a major event media and communication strategy (e.g. informal network, social media, streaming platform, host club participation expectations).

  7. Establish a national marketing and promotion strategy, including the production of digital media specifically designed to support PT and squash facility marketing and promotion.

  8. Develop and support mechanisms to facilitate adoption of safe sport measures at the PT and club levels.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION - PERFORMANCE

Supporting the infrastructure and athlete pathways needed to drive excellence.

EXPECTED RESULTS

2.1 Defined World Class and integrated athlete pathway.

2.2 Maintained Top 8 international team standing with rebuilt infrastructure to foster enhanced standing.

2.3 Implemented domestic and international hosting strategy.

2.4 Universally adopted Club Locker rankings and ratings as key performance level indicators that support           player engagement, seeding and team selection.

2.5 Adoption of standardized fitness and skills tests as key athlete development and monitoring tools for
       athletes at provincial/territorial level and higher.

KEY INITIATIVES

  1. Create and deliver an annual Canadian Open Tournament as a key high performance pathway opportunity and marketing and promotion vehicle.

  2. Launch formalized NextGen Squad and Junior National Squad Programs complete with supportive athlete services.

  3. Establish and support centralized training infrastructures in 6 regional hubs.

  4. Develop and launch a National Physical and Technical Testing Program.

  5. Develop an Athlete Sponsorship Program for NextGen and National Team members designed to facilitate corporate and benefactor support and thus decrease financial and non-financial barriers to compete for Canada.

  6. Establish a National and Provincial Coaching Network to support collaboration and learning.

  7. Coordinate PSA events to form a National PSA Circuit.

  8. Successfully bid on hosting international events.

  9. Develop and implement a points-based high performance Junior Rankings System.

EXPECTED RESULTS

3.1 Retained and increased number of public and private squash facilities with enhanced community access.

3.2 Increased squash presence in all levels of educational institutions (promotion, programs and participation).

3.3 Increased number and diversity of qualified, trained and certified coaches and officials.

3.4 Developed suite of new national, standardized programs through the athlete pathway.

3.5 Increased training for club professionals on the management of sustainable, inclusive squash programs.

3.6 Secured the asset of an all glass showcourt as a key instrument by which to deliver sponsorship/revenue generation, major event hosting,                           awareness and high performance Expected Results.

KEY INITIATIVES

  1. Develop a facilities engagement strategy, including for outdoor courts, adjustable courts, interactive squash, mini courts, court conversions and other innovations, and in under-serviced communities.

  2. Develop squash court retention, advocacy and development resources.

  3. Develop squash facilities advisory capacity (public and private) designed to provide expert advice to prospective squash facility developers and to squash facility owners/leaders who may be experiencing sustainability challenges with their facility/operations.

  4. Establish a strategy, curriculum and partnerships to support squash in all levels of educational institutions that meets national and provincial/territorial education and physical activity standards.

  5. Develop and communicate a Resource Hub to share ready-made program ideas, best practices, lesson plans, how-to’s, tools and innovations.

  6. Develop and communicate coach and official certification pathways that are more easily understood and navigated.

  7. Develop more national online resources that contribute to coaching and programming development and NCCP coach certification.

  8. Develop more online resources that contribute to officials’ development and certification as well as align where feasible with World Squash Officiating.

  9. Define a clear athlete development pathway that considers relevant research and reflects the needs and capacities of the provinces and territories.

  10. In support of the defined athlete pathway, develop a national program and detailed curriculum for each stage in the player continuum from initiation through to life long.

  11. Purchase and actively deploy a portable all glass showcourt.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION - GOVERNANCE

Continued improvement of how we work, including revenue generation, engagement and collaboration with Members.

EXPECTED RESULTS

4.1 Increased and diversified revenues.

4.2 Continually improved Safe Sport policies and practices.

4.3 Increased diversity and gender equity across the organization and all roles.

4.4 Improved engagement and collaboration amongst Squash Canada and its Provincial/Territorial                         Members.

4.5 Defined and agreed upon roles and responsibilities for Squash Canada and Provincial/Territorial Squash         Organizations.

KEY INITIATIVES

  1. Implement a revenue generating domestic and international event hosting model.

  2. In collaboration with PTs, develop and implement a consolidated national and PT fundraising and sponsorship strategy that supports all levels of programming from grassroots to high performance.

  3. Develop a PT engagement strategy to support sharing information and needs, PT and PT Board development needs, and pooling and finding collective efficiencies wherever possible.

  4. Consult with provinces and territories on the support needed to implement Safe Sport policies and practices at the provincial, territorial and community levels.

  5. Coordinate with provinces and territories on succession planning and talent pipeline to develop people in under-represented groups to move into administrative and leadership roles.

  6. Review Squash Canada current governance model against the Canadian Sport Code of Governance, and implement identified enhancements in order to be best positioned to deliver on its mission.