Squash Canada has announced an ambitious new strategic plan to establish Canada as a world-leading squash nation while expanding participation as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new strategy, which is projected to run from 2021-2024, is growth focused, with stated goals of increasing the number of public and private squash facilities, increasing the sport’s presence in all levels of educational institutions, and increasing the number and gender diversity of certified coaches and officials.
Commenting on the announcement, Dan Wolfenden, Squash Canada Executive Director, said: “We are very pleased to have received the critical input and support of our stakeholders in development of this aggressive three-year plan. Our sport has had an unprecedented hiatus over the last 18 months, but so too has it provided opportunities, time for reflection, a clarified focus on the elements most critical to not only a return to squash, but to a stronger squash.”
The values of PRIDE (Participant Focused Respectful Inclusive Dedicated Excellence) are central to all aspects of the strategy, which will see a number of initiatives implemented, including:
- Continue to develop and deliver targeted diversity, equity and inclusion programming in collaboration with Provincial/Territorial squash associations to grow and diversify membership.
- Develop new recreational level programming, including for hardball doubles, softball doubles and Squash57.
- 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.
- Create and deliver an annual Canadian Open Tournament as a key high performance pathway opportunity and marketing and promotion vehicle.
- Launch formalized NextGen Squad and Junior National Squad Programs complete with supportive athlete services.
- Establish a National and Provincial Coaching Network to support collaboration and learning, and develop and communicate coach and official certification pathways that are more easily understood and navigated.
- Successfully bid on hosting international events and coordinate PSA events to form a National PSA Circuit.
- Define a clear athlete development pathway that considers relevant research and reflects the needs and capacities of the provinces and territories.
- Purchase and actively deploy a portable all glass showcourt.
- 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.
More information about Squash Canada’s 2021-24 Strategy.