Monday, October 16, 2017

Junior Gold

   107 of Canada's best juniors descended on Windsor this weekend to battle it out for squash supremacy.  As this tournament is a world junior designated selection event for players looking to represent Canada in international tournaments, we had players from PEI to British Columbia enter.         
     Matches lived up to their expectation beginning with the first matches as the action was fast and furious with very few players walking away with easy wins.  23 of Windsor's players took part in the action led by Amin Khan (U15, #2 in Ontario) and Ananya Maheshwari (U13, #5).  Amin was playing up in the U17 division and Ananya was looking to continue her solid play in the tough U13 division. 
     Sara Khan started off the tournament against Marlow Benson (#3) and got out to a quick 2-0 lead.  However, Marlow clawed back and was able to take the match 11-9 in the 5th.  Phil Dimitrov dug deep and pulled out a gut-wrenching win with an 11-9 win in the 5th game.  Vishaal Mehta easily cruised into the second round with a 3-0 win.  Aaron Nagy continued his strong play and advanced into the main round for the second tournament in a row.  Amin and Ananya also moved on to the 2nd with wins. 
      Saturday proved to be a long day of squash with matches beginning at 8:30 and continuing right into the evening.  Of all our players that moved on to the main round, only Amin and Ananya continued into the main draws.  However, that didn't stop the great play going on in the consolation.  Vishaal and Aaron both advanced to the con finals where they lost tough matches.   The match of the weekend was a standing-room only match of Amin vs. Nikhil Ismail (#1).  There were many long rallies with great retrieval and shot-making.  Amin kept the Windsor crowd on the edge of their seats as the match went down to the wire.  Unfortunately, Amin could not hang on, losing 11-7 in the 5th.
     The favourite part of this tournament is the Saturday dinner catered by Windsor Palace.  Over 200 people attended including representatives from the City of Windsor, Squash Ontario, Squash Canada and other local dignitaries.  The juniors presented a thank you video to Graeme and Dave for all their hard work.  The highlight of the night was when Anis took the mic to announce raffle winners.
Players who did extra reffing had their name put in a draw for an iPhone.  The iPhone was won by a very excited Shirin Batra from Toronto.  However, Anis was not done.  All parents who attended the dinner had their names put into a raffle for a laptop.  Petronella Nbende of Toronto was the lucky recipient.  And last but not least, all the coaches were put into a raffle for a Microsoft Surface Pro,  which was won by Squash Canada's Steve Wren.  Steve was kind enough to re-donate to a junior which our very own Phil Dimitrov.  All of these items were donated by Ciena Healthcare.  It was a great evening that left many people talking about what a great event Windsor puts on.
     Although Sunday saw many tired players, the level of squash remained high.  Amin finished in 4th place and Ananya played amazing in the finals but couldn't hang on to win her first U13 title.  The girl's U19 final lived up to its expectations.  Brooke Herring of British Columbia defeated National Champion Charlotte Orcutt 11-9 in the 5th.  The boys U19 final was expected to be a close math and that is was.  National Champion Akasham Rajagopaul vs. U17 National Champion, George Crowne.  The match was never separated by more than a couple of points.  Both players showed great shot-making and amazing retrieval skills but what stood out the most was the high level of sportsmanship.  George was able to pull it out 11-9 in the fifth.
     Windsor was spoken very highly from all out of town participants and events like this really help put Windsor on the map as a destination to come to.  Thank you to all the members that were inconvenienced this weekend.  Thank you to all the members that came out to watch.  Pictures from this weekend can be found here and complete draws can be found here

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Canadian Team Championships


Squash Canada is thrilled to announce that the Windsor Squash & Fitness Club (WSFC) will host the 2018 Canadian Men’s and Women’s Team Squash Championships, and in an unprecedented move in Canadian squash, will offer significant prize money.  From February 16-18, 2018, the WSFC will welcome Canada’s top players as they represent their home Province/Territory in hopes of capturing the separate men and women teams’ national titles.
“We are extremely honoured to have been awarded the 2018 Canadian Team Championships,” said WSFC Head Professional Graeme Williams, upon the awarding of the Championships.  “As a club, it will allow our members to enjoy top level squash and hopefully inspire new people to play.  For the players, we hope to put on an event they enjoy, one that will bring out the best in them. We are thrilled to be offering the most prize money in the events history.  All of which would not be possible without the incredible investment our sponsors and supporters have put into the development and growth of squash.”
Thanks to championship sponsors and enthusiastic squash supporters, the championships will be a history-making event, awarding total prize money of $21,000.  The 6 gold medal finishers will each receive $2,000, $1,000 will go to each finalist and each bronze medalist will receive $500.
Over the past twelve months Squash Canada has taken many steps to increase the prestige of its eight national championships held annually.  Securing host clubs, like the WSFC, who not only bring first-class facilities but a passion and commitment to executing top-level events has helped achieve this.
“We could not be more excited to work with such a high-quality host to present a bigger and better squash event for these Championships,” said Squash Canada’s Executive Director, Dan Wolfenden.  “I commend Tournament Director, Graeme Williams and the WSFC community for having a bold vision for the event.  Securing sponsor and donor support to be able to offer a purse of $21,000 is a significant step in growing the event and ensuring that top Canadian players will be there to perform at the highest level. Equally important, it shows athletes that clubs across the country are filled with people who have the leadership and ambition to further the growth of the sport of squash.”
National Team Athlete Representative, Samantha Cornett, appreciates what this means for competing athletes. “This is going to be a great event.  Securing this amount of prize money will definitely draw the top players. With that, comes the opportunity to provide valuable head-to-head matches for the national squad members, as well as some of the top junior players,” she said.  “What are great opportunity this will be for Canadian squash to be in the spotlight in a growing squash market.  And I personally can’t wait for the other athletes to find out just how awesome it is to play in front of the ‘squash-mad’ members of the Windsor Squash & Fitness Club.”
The Canadian Men’s and Women’s Team Championships is a high-calibre event in which 3 men or 3 women of each provincial/territorial team, as well as a Canadian Armed Forces team, play head-to-head, one player at a time, with the team who won the best of three matches being credited with the win.  The timing of the event has moved from its traditional spot in early January to the February 16-18 dates, which is a protected date by the Professional Squash Association (PSA), and will therefore be free of PSA World Tour conflicts for the many Canadians who compete professionally.
“On behalf of the proud sponsorship group, we, along with the Windsor Squash and Fitness Club and its members, and the City of Windsor, are proud and excited to host this event,” said Dr. Darin Peterson, of the Windsor Family Health Team.  “For the first time, the championships will have several financial and food sponsors that will make it an incredible event for both players and fans.  We are also excited to confirm that we will be offering free admission to the public.  This will undoubtedly help grow the fan base and awareness of the sport in Windsor.  We encourage all to come down to the WSFC and join us in celebrating this national event in February of 2018.”
The 2018 event will be one of the most exciting to date so get ready Southwestern Ontario, Canada’s best squash is headed your way!  As more event details are secured they will be posted on

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Gary Waite #1

    This Sunday was the beginning of the Gary Waite junior squash tour.  The Gary Waite tour has been around for years and is designed for beginning players looking to get into tournaments.  Some of our juniors made the trip down the 401 to Chatham to play in this event.  While, for many of them this was their first tournament, it didn't stop them from playing amazing squash.  In the under 10 division, none other than Maisie Williams took the title.  Imagine that.  Jacob Bhatti brought home the 11-13 title with a great win.  The 14+ division was won by Gabe VanMorsel (home court advantage :)) with a convincing win over Carter Furmanek.  Congratulation to Subhan Khan for winning the 14+ consolation.
     Thanks to Dan VanMorsel for hosting this event and Gary and Holly Delavigne for putting it on.  Next event is Nov 15 in Sarnia.