Squash Ontario Launches Operation OFSAA!
The goal of Operation OFSAA is to provide every high school student in the province access to the sport of squash through their school by 2021-22. It will be the single biggest impact on participation in Squash Ontario history and a critical springboard to feed our existing programs and member clubs.
For the first time ever, the April 2020 Jim Mason Cup, our annual high school invitational, will be sanctioned by the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSAA). The organization overseas over 650,000 high school student athletes and administers 41 sports. Our goal is to have squash fully incorporated into OFSAA by 2022 which will change the landscape of our sport. This is an ambitious project which will require us to more then double the number of currently participating schools and increase gender and regional diversity.
As such, 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, sponsorship, donations and communication/marketing. In 2018-2019, 32 schools participated in high school programs with 18 competing in the Jim Mason Cup. Our goal is to add a minimum of 10 schools each year for the next 3 seasons to reach 60 schools participating by 2022. Each team currently requires a minimum of 7 players (at least 2 female) for divisions 1 and 2 and a minimum of 5 players for a division 3/emerging team. By 2022, we will have both a boys and girls division of 7 players each starting with an exhibition event in 2020 to provide gender equality in the program. The new sanctioned Jim Mason Cup will take place Thursday April 28th and Friday April 29th, 2020 at Mayfair Lakeshore in Toronto.
The first step is to launch 10 annual leadership bursaries for junior squash players that start a school program for $500 each. These young leaders will apply to launch their programs in conjunction with a school leader and have access an additional $500 in program support (coaching, equipment, court fees, travel to and from practice) as well as up to additional $500 in travel subsidy to attend the Jim Mason Cup for those schools outside of the GTA. Schools with existing programs will also receive enhanced support to continue operating their programs. Applications will include logistical and financial information, giving our young leaders valuable business experience; the bursaries will be paid out upon the successful completion of an entry into the Jim Mason Cup. They will be made available August 15th, 2019 and due October 15th, 2019.
borrow equipment for your phys. ed class
Bring squash into your gymnasium! Squash fits perfectly into the “Net/Wall Activity” physical education curriculum. Squash Ontario’s Equipment Loaner Program is available for schools and clubs interested in introducing squash to large groups of students of any age.
Teachers or club professionals can borrow squash equipment for two week periods by filling out the Equipment Loaner Program Application Form below.
Applications for equipment will be based on a first come, first served basis.
There is no cost to renting the equipment.
Consider applying for OFSAA’s Try Day Program grants!
Junior Racquets (Grade 3-8)
Senior Racquets (Grade 9-12)
FOR SQUASH CLUBS
Squash facilities looking to engage school groups should look no further – the Courting Schools Program will assist with effectively marketing the facility, generating revenue and community awareness, growing the junior program, learn valuable tips when reaching out to local schools and steps to ensuring their own school programming is a success.
Connect with local schools either by flyer, phone or in-person.
Visit school gymnasiums for a “try-it” day. Squash can be adapted to a gymnasium setting. Squash Ontario will lend equipment as well as provide an honorarium for these activities. See the resources below. Consider applying for OFSAA’s Try Day Program grants!
Arrange a “unit” where physical education teachers come to your facility to do a series of sports including squash. Typically 2-3 weeks in length, you might have a fitness station, tennis and squash. Or just squash! The Club at White Oaks and Windsor Squash & Fitness Club are great examples.
Organize a “club” team that comes to your club after school 1-2 times per week during a term. This is where Operation OFSAA would come into effect. Funding for court time and coaching is available through Squash Ontario.
Bring your school to the Jim Mason Cup in April each year to compete against schools across the province! Event information can be found on our calendar of events.