Perseverance drives BC's Rashid Aziz to come back and win US National Squash Championship Title
For athletes of any age, becoming a national champion takes talent, dedication and an exemplary attitude. Vancouver resident, Rashid Aziz, recently proved that age and affliction need not be barriers to success, when he won the US National Squash Championship category title at the tender age of 65.
A retired chartered
accountant, Aziz has been a frequent competitor in the US National Squash Championship over the past 10 years. Just five years ago, he earned top honours in his 60-year-old age category. "But this win," said Aziz, "is a crowning achievement."
In 2017, Aziz contracted a virus that left him with balance issues and permanent hearing loss in one ear. Solo squash drills and time helped with the balance issue. Undaunted, Aziz proved he still had the heart of a champion by committing himself to his training program with the goal of an eventual return to the awards podium. This year, his athletic vision became reality, when he earned a second US Championship men's singles title, this time in the 65-year-old category.
Aziz captured his second US championship title over a competitive two-day schedule of four matches amid a hotly contested draw of 17 players, which included five former national champions at various age levels. Aziz battled fellow British Columbian and top seed Tom Bedore, in the semi-final event, before defeating Don Sheer of Phoenix in the final.
Aziz, a Jericho Club member, attributes his March 2019 championship win to a dedicated fitness regime, as well as coaching from his club's assistant pro, Sarfaraz Ahmed. He plays squash four times a week and supplements his training with yet another lifetime sport, swimming. He says mental preparation is also key.
"You need perseverance," says Aziz, a long-time member of Squash BC. "You can always come back, but you've got to have grit and determination." And he now has a national championship to prove it.
BC Juniors bring home three national titles & multiple medals
In an already strong BC junior squash season, junior athletes brought an impressive suite of medal finishes home from the 2019 Canadian Junior Closed Squash Championships (held Apr 11-14 at the Royal Glenora and Edmonton Squash Clubs
BC had semi finalists in many age categories in both the boys and the girls with three overall national titles going to:
- Veera Dhaliwal (Richmond) Girls U11
- Maria Min (Vancouver) GU13
- Jacob Lin (Delta) BU15
The girls' performances were particularly impressive. In the
Dhaliwal (Richmond, BC) earned the title after a fierce match with opponent Romina Rodrigues of Edmonton, AB. Dhaliwal put on a strong performance going undefeated with five wins in the round robin to capture the National Title.
In the Girls U13 first, second and third place were all snagged by British Columbians - two from Richmond athletes, Ocean Ma 2nd place (Richmond, BC) and 3rd place for her sibling Spring Ma (Richmond, BC) with the first place Girls U13 title going to Vancouver's Maria Min.
Brooke Herring of Victoria
secured a 3rd place finish in the Girls U19 category.
In the Girls U17 category, Molly Chadwick of Ontario beat Lucia Bicknell in a high energy five set match (8-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-9 and 11-8). Bicknell, who won individual Gold at the Canada Winter Games held in Red Deer, AB this February, comes home with an impressive 2nd place finish while 3rd place went to another Canada Winter Games BC Team member Sarah Cao (Richmond, BC).
On the boys' side Jacob Lin (Delta) garnered a U15 National Title while Joseph Toth (Richmond) brought home a 3rd place finish.
"I want to thank my Dad Ibrahim who coaches me and for getting me to where I am" said Kamran Gwadry of Vancouver yesterday after his 3rd place finish in the Boys U11 category.
The BC Team placed second in this highly competitive National tournament only 3 points behind Ontario. Congratulations to our BC participants!
Lauren Wagner wins Masters athlete award at the North Shore Sport Awards
Some of the best and brightest stars of the North Shore sports scene gathered for the annual North Shore Sport Awards ceremony
on March 19, 2019. Congratulations to age-group world champion squash player Lauren Wagner for winning an award in the master athlete category. Wagner won the Women's 50+ category at the 2018 WSF World Masters. Congratulations, Lauren!
Finish the season strong!
If the above athletic achievements don't inspire you to get out there and play, we don't know what will! Come out and finish the season strong by participating in our Provincial Championships.
April 26 deadline to enter!
National Bank Financial BC Singles Championships
Hollyburn Country Club
will play host to all the matches.
Entry includes Courtside Kegger Thursday, Friday and Saturday; Saturday appies during the semi's; souvenir and 2-match guarantee.
Events for available for all levels of play: Open, A, B, C, D, and we are highlighting all ages too, 40+, 45+, all the way to 80+!
$2,000 minimum prize money for Open winners.
Let's continue the great tradition of showcasing of our province's best players from young to old and have a great time off court too!
Sign up now!
Silver Sponsors Caposhie, Devencore and Strange Fellows Brewing, Bronze Sponsors Rockingham Engineering, Orestone, Kit & Coop, National Bank Financial / Creed Capital Management Group, City Wide Mortgage, and Supplier Sponsors Manta Sport, Promosapien, Asics, Hollyburn Country Club
Whistler Haakon Classic 2019 (May 17-20)
Open to all levels of recreational play, A-D draws for both men and women. this event also Includes a 4 player pro invitational event, the Whistler Haakon is truly a classic having run since 1995!
Enter early and register a team for Go-Fest, a celebration of the great Whistler Outdoors. This will be about more than just squash. It will be an adventure.
Vancouver Racquets Club gets seriously active with new Head Pro Andrew Mount
nt left the cold out East just in time to bring much-in-demand
programming to the Vancouver Racquets Club this Spring. Following are just a few of the events he's organized in the past month.
-- VRC hosted 16 of their newest members to the VRC Rookie Rally on Friday, March 29th.
Players enjoyed some 3/4 court, a welcome message from Head Pro Andrew Mount, along with a guest appearance from long-time VRC members Brian Covernton and Rick Ng. Rookies were divided into four teams and played off for bragging rights.
The evening was capped off in VRC's Last Serve Bar with some social and a draw for a new racquet donated by Black Knight.
West Coast Classic
(April 1 to 7), attracted over 100 entrants to VRC for the week.
The crowd enjoyed some great Sunday finals, including Matt Reece over Duncan Maxwell in the men's open finals.
In the Women's Doubles Invitational, Nicola Martin/Megan Picken beat Cathy Covernton/Nicola Ahern and in the Men's Doubles Invitational Justin Todd/Sarfaraz Ahmed defeated Grant Bergman/Morgan Latremouille.
Fun was had by all in this newly named tournament.
VRC held a FUNdamentals Junior Pathway event on April 13 that attracted 8 participants. With coaches Andrew Mount, Duncan Maxwell and Ryan Picken leading the group through skills/drills, Castle & Dungeon and a round robin, participants got all sorts of attention from a well-qualified coaching team. It is great that Andrew has carried on support of the Junior Pathway program.
Squash BC partners with its member club coaches and pros to develop, implement and support a vibrant Junior Pathways Development Program that encourages kids to take up the sport, helps them develop their skills and progressively introduces them to competition. With financial support from the
, the program is a cornerstone to engaging, growing and maintaining a strong base of junior athletes.
The 2020 Fund was established in 2000 by Squash BC to help protect the future of squash in British Columbia. As funding from government and other sources becomes less predictable, it is important to find alternative ways to ensure a sound financial future for the sport of squash. The income accumulated through the 2020 Fund is used to promote the growth of the game through the development of junior squash. By establishing a vibrant and well-financed junior program, Squash BC will take a major step toward a successful future for the sport in this province. To donate to the 2020 Fund, click here.
Vancouver Lawn May 11 events
Vancouver Lawn will be busy on Saturday, May 11 as they hold two events promoting squash in the community.
FUNdamentals/Developing Junior Pathway (10 am to 1pm)
VLT's last pathway event included r
ound robin play, and introduction to competitive play and refereeing with 3 draws and dodge-ball.
Open House (1pm to 4pm)
Vancouver Lawn Head Pro Viktor Berg invites all to their Open House being held from (1 to 4 pm).
The Open House will include singles and doubles exhibitions featuring Viktor Berg, Justin Todd, Luke Vaggers, Carolyn Russell and Drew Henderson.
This is a free guest day with pros and courtesy members playing round robin games with everyone.
All levels are welcome!
Squash BC, in conjunction with Squash Canada, offers a variety learning to coaching programs via the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) throughout the province. At most facilities there are opportunities for players to get certified coaching at their appropriate level. Coaching certification offers consistency in the level of coaching throughout the province and country.
Upcoming learning opportunities for Coaches include:
Coaching Foundations (Jul 12-14) at Terminal City Club
Consider helping out the Squash Community and become a Certified Squash Instructor!
Squash BC is offering this Coaching Foundations Course which is the first technical squash coaching course required to achieve certification. The course will be conducted by Head Pro Barry Gifford at the
Terminal City Club
in downtown Vancouver from Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14.
This course in combination with the applicable Multi-Sport Modules and
Coaching Evaluation will result in you being a Certified Squash Instructor or Certified Squash Assistant. Which is equivalent to the former Level 1 certification. (See certification pathway here)
The cost includes the materials for the course, and the cost of the evaluation at a later date.
There are only 8 spots available in this course so sign up by
The Whistler Coaches Summit (Apr 26 - May 5) at Whistler Athletes Centre
Hosted by Whistler Sport Legacies & CSI- Pacific, this summit is designed specifically to support coaches in the completion of several key NCCP Multi-Sport modules at the Competition Development level, in an environment that is truly multi-sport and interactive on the 2010 Legacy Campus.
Coaches can learn and network with a mix of classroom sessions, recreational activities, a welcome social and a BBQ. Accommodation and meal packages available or choose which courses needed to complete certification and/or professional development points.
: Whistler Athletes Centre 1090 Legacy Way, call to get the coach summit discount. 604-964-0052 quote "Summit 2019"
Receive a 5% discount, if booked within 30 day's of summit
Intermediate Coaching Course offering in Ontario
If you are certified at the Coaching Foundations level, or have taken a Coaching Foundations course recently and are ready to get to the next level, then there is an Intermediate Coaching Course offering in Ontario from May 17-19.
Squash Ontario runs only one Intermediate Coaching Course per year and the 2019 course is coming up on May 17-19 at Mayfair Lakeshore.
A requirement of this course is Squash Instructor Certification
. If you have yet to complete your final evaluation from the Coaching Foundations level, we can arrange for an evaluation prior to this course. Out of town coaches can go through an evaluation prior to the course on Friday morning/early afternoon.
If you are interested in taking this course and wish to register:
Call Squash Ontario at 647-360-0420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay in the know about Doubles
Our doubles community is active and engaged.
If you want to stay in the know about all the goings on in our doubles community, the Doubles Committee Chair, Gordon Pybus, would be happy to include you on the Doubles Community Email Contacts list.
Squash BC Annual General Meeting on June 1, 2019
Squash BC will be holding its Annual General Meeting on June 1 at the Arbutus Club in Vancouver.
Please save the date! Our new leadership staff team is looking forward to meeting and speaking with members and discussing the direction that Squash BC is taking in growing our sport.
Nominations now Open for Squash BC
Board of Directors and Zone Representatives
Board of Directors -- If you like to think creatively, engage in policy decisions, have a commitment to give back to the squash community and have a passion for squash, a role on Squash BC's Board of Directors might be a fit for you. We encourage you to read the Expression of Interest & nomination form and consider a Board role yourself. Deadline to apply is April 22, 2019.
Zone Representatives - Zone Representatives act as a liaison and represent the interests of the individuals in their zone keeping a broad view of the overall structure, operation and objectives of Squash BC and its membership with the intent of promoting and growing the squash in BC and communicating with members more effectively. Zone representatives are appointed annually by the Board. We encourage you to read the Zone Representative information document and consider a Zone Representative role for yourself. Deadline to apply is April 22, 2019. Click here for the Zone Representative nominations form.
This is your Bo
ard and your organization!
Please spread the word to your squash community about these important volunteer roles or consider giving back to the great game of squash by volunteering yourself!
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