Squash Ontario Launches Operation OFSAA and Student Squash Leadership Bursaries

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Operation OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations) aims to provide every high school student in the province with access to the sport of squash -- through their schools -- by 2021-22.

This initiative will be the catalyst for the greatest participation increase in Squash Ontario history and will be a critical springboard to feed our existing programs and member clubs.

Squash Ontario is partnering with OFSAA to make the 2020 Jim Mason Cup, the annual high school invitational, an officially sanctioned event. OFSAA currently oversees more than 650,000 high school student athletes competing across 41 sports. We are aiming to have squash achieve full OFSAA status by 2022, which will change the landscape of our sport. This is an ambitious project which will require us to more than double the number of schools currently participating, while also diversifying gender and regional representation.

In 2019, 32 schools ran high school programs with 18 teams competing in the Jim Mason Cup. Our goal is to add at least 10 schools in each of the next 3 seasons, reaching 60 teams by 2022.

Currently, a team requires a minimum of 7 players (at least 2 female) for divisions 1 and 2, and a minimum of 5 players, of any gender mix, for a division 3 (emerging) team.

By 2022, to provide gender equity in the program, we will have both boys’ and girls’ divisions of 7 players each. This format will be showcased with a girls’ exhibition match at the 2020 event, Friday April 17th and Saturday April 18th at Mayfair Lakeshore in Toronto.

Squash Ontario is investing heavily in Operation OFSAA and will need the passion and support of our community in the form of volunteerism, partnerships with facilities, sponsorships, donations and communication/marketing.

To help launch this initiative Squash Ontario is excited to offer 10 annual leadership bursaries of $500 each to student athletes who start a program at their school. Bursary applicants must have the support of a teacher leader in their school. And, if selected, they will have access to up to $250 in program support (coaching, equipment, court fees, travel to and from practice) as well as additional subsidies (for those schools outside of the GTA) for travel to attend the Jim Mason Cup. Schools with existing programs will also receive support to continue operating their programs. Bursary applications will require logistical and financial information, giving our young leaders valuable business experience. The bursaries will be paid out to the students at the Jim Mason Cup. Online applications are due November 1, 2019. Contact Alison@squashontario.com with additional questions.