PEI’s squash community wrapped up the 2013/14 season by celebrating some of the organization’s most successful athletes and their achievements. On Saturday, players and families gathered for the annual “Squash Ball”.
The night started out acknowledging the continued dominance of 2014 Male Athlete of the Year, Mike Buchanan. Hailing from O’Leary, Buchanan can boast a perfect record this season, having won several titles region wide.
Quincy Beck, a grade 12 student at Colonel Gray, was recognized for her laundry list of successes in 2013/14 and received both the 2014 Female Athlete of the Year and the 2014 Junior Female Athlete of the Year. Beck’s achievements this year included becoming the first female athlete in 20 years to move into the elite Men’s A division. She has taken home many top titles in Canada and the USA, and was awarded a squash scholarship to Brown University in Rhode Island.
Connor Jinks was another junior player to work his way to the Men’s A division, where he was a fierce competitor all year. Jinks combined raw talent, with hard work and grit to become the top junior athlete in Atlantic Canada, earning him the 2014 Junior Male Athlete of the Year award.
Volunteers within the organization were also celebrated. Lester Jinks, long time Squash PEI player and advocate, has served several terms on the organization executive, coached players in both Charlottetown and Montague, and is always recruiting and mentoring and celebrating Island athletes and successes. From planning the regions premier junior squash camps, to billeting off Island players attending, Jinks’ contributions to the game are endless.
Also recognized on Saturday was John Power, with the Squash Canada Certificate of Recognition. Power’s romance with the sport of squash began in the mid ‘80s in Summerside. From there he has fingerprints all over squash in Canada. Power coached in Quebec, and Ontario, and was head coach of the varsity team at Dartmouth in New Hampshire. His son, Jonathan Power, is a former world #1, and he himself has several national titles in the masters division.
Other awards handed out on Saturday include:
Most Improved Player (Adult) – Floyd Jackson of North River
Most Imrpoved Player (Junior) – Nathan Phillips of
Heart and Soul Award (Adult) – Jeremy Stiles of Darnley
Heart and Soul Award (Junior) – Samantha Lawther of Francois-Buote
Steve Rogers Award – Steve Bruce of Cornwall