Tuesday
Feb252014

Rodd Hotels and Resorts - PEI Junior Athlete of the Year Nominee: Quincy Beck!

Squash PEI is super excited to announce that our very own Quincy Beck has been selected as a finalist for the Rodd Hotels and Resorts, PEI Junior Athlete of the Year. This is just one of the many feathers in Quincy's squash-success hat - just one of many this year, for that matter.

Our very own "Squash TV" reporting duo, Steve Bruce and Kady Brown, caught up with Quincy at the courts and cut this great interview!

 

Saturday
Mar022013

Player of the Month

We have a new kid on the block - moving in to the A division.  

After a couple of seasons of being on the "edge" of the A division, Ken has taken his rightful place - now playing at the A level.  Here's our interview with our new "Player of the Month" - Ken Sampson!

Q: When did you start playing squash?  What was the motivating factor to get you involved in the sport?  

A: I played squash a little while attending university in Fredericton but really started playing regularly 3 years ago.  Jordan & Benoit got involved in squash at a summer camp at UPEI which led to junior lessons with Derek Lawther, we never looked back.

Q: Do you remember your first tournament?  How did you do? 

A: I think my first tournament was the UPEI Open in 2010; I was in the middle of the "C" pack.

Q: Your sons, Jordan and Benoit are also involved in the sport.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of their games?  How will you continue to beat them as they continue to improve ?  
A: Jordan has a nasty cross court drop; Benoit has a good straight drive from the front.  

Q: What would  you say your strongest and weakest shots are?
 
A: My weakest shot would be anything off the back wall.  My strongest shot would be my volley drop when it is working.

Q: You are known as a guy who spends a lot of time on the courts.  How many hours per week would you say you are "pounding the boards"?
 
A: On average I spend 6+ hours a week in the court.

Q: Do you do any solo, or is most of your time on court in match play?  

A: I rarely hit solo; I enjoy playing the game, I love the variety.  I do enjoy playing conditioned games to practice certain techniques.

Q: You have now joined the top ranks of Squash PEI - moving up to the "A" level.  Tell us about your journey to the top and how it feels to be there?
 
A: Getting out of C is fun; getting out of B is tough (Darn Juniors)  It feels great to finally be in "A" there is nowhere to go so no pressure.

Q: What would you suggest to younger players in terms of a training plan to get them to the A Division?  
A: Watch lots of Professional squash and play a variety of players.  I watch all the PSA matches on Squash TV and I believe it helps enormously.  There are many styles of play so get out and play different people, take advantage of tournaments to play other people.

Q: What are your goals now?  When should Mike Buchanan get nervous?
 
A: My goal now is to continue to improve, stay fit and injury free.   Mike has to watch those up and coming juniors not the old bald guys!
Wednesday
Mar142012

Shara: the player, the president, the legend.

For all that she does for squash, it's my pleasure to award her with the SUPREME honour of "Player of the Week" :)

Shara Cody has been a rock star player with Squash PEI for the past several years, and has been volunteering almost as long. Shara has been coaching juniors for the past few years, and introducing adults - especially women - to the sport we all know and love. She has served on the Squash PEI executive as VP Women, and is currently, as you know, our President. Now, it's only appropriate to point out that as much love as one can have for squash, serving as the all-accountable president, can be a little bit of a thankless endeavour; pleasing everyone doesn't come easy, but Shara has done a fantastic job of trying.
Shara certainly doesn't do all this for the recognition - she does it for the love of the sport and community. All of this committment, combined with her great play - think her big win in Men's C at the PEI Open- makes her a very worthy recipient of the "Player of the Week"
So, you know the drill! I asked Shara some "hard hitting" questions, and she obliged with some answers to help everyone get to know "Shara, the player, the president, the legend".

 

1. How long have you been playing, and how did you get started?
I started playing squash almost 5 years ago with a couple of coworkers to mix up our lunch time work out routine and I was immediately hooked. I played once or twice a week for about 4 months before I entered my first tournament, the 2007 Diva Invitational. 
2. About how often do you play a week?
I am on the court 5 or 6 days a week during the season and 3 or 4 days a week over the summer.

3. You coach and help promote the sport significantly and so this question has two parts:
    a) What is one of your proudest squash memories as a player?
    b) What is one of your proudest squash memories as a coach?

3a) My proudest moment as a player was winning women's B and being promoted to women's A. I remember it well because it was my first time participating in the Millriver tournament, so the amazing weekend was capped off for me with that very exciting accomplishment.
3b) My proudest moment as a coach was watching the 2011 PEI Canada Games practice team play each other for positions on the team. From their soaring level of play, giving 120% in every match, their sportsmanship, and the maturity with which they handled being best friends off the court and fierce opponents on the court, I was so lucky to have been a part of it.
4.Why squash? Why have you chosen to dedicate so much of your time to this community?
I could write you a book about why I love squash and about why the community is so wonderful. But basically, squash became very important after university when I was no longer participating in organized sports. It is such a dynamic sport and the challenge of learning to play squash and participation in the community have enriched my life. Why do I devote so much time to squash? Well, it's because passion is infectious. Those who volunteered before me made it easy to want to help out too. Everyone who volunteers with me, makes it fun and exciting, and those who volunteer in the future will hopefully also feel empowered.
5. How do you balance the administrative responsibilities with working on your play/skill development?
Balance? I'm going to say that I "juggle" volunteering and training for myself. I'm able to juggle everything by trying to stick to a schedule, but also because of the support of the rest of the executive committee and other volunteers. 
6. What is your favourite drill? 
One of my favourite 2 person drills is "boast, lob, drive". You can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quoTXLjlU5U

 

Tuesday
Jan312012

Geez. . .er. . . Player of the Week

 
Scott Hamill with the "Geezer Goblet" after the Mill River Tournament. To quote Nancy, his wife, "Who does he think he is...Djkovic????? Total Geezer!"

Scott Hamill did it. He was sly, hard to read, and quick about it too. You have to be, to be the best of the geezers.
Scott has been a super consistent player over the past several years, participating in many tournaments and being an integral part of the West Prince squash community. Recently, he had a big win at home, at the Mill River Resort Squash Tournament, beating several of the greats in the Master's Division to win the title and the coveted "Geezer Goblet". Oh yeah, and Scott totally made my "Mill River Bar Fight Team".
Scotts tricky play and quick shots make his matches fun to watch, and make him a touch opponent. Below you might find a couple tips on how to take him in the future, though I think he's keen to keep that trophey up west.
How long have you been playing squash? How many times a week do you get onto the courts?
I have been playing squash for 14 years. I started while my daughter Shelby was @ swimming lessons...I saw the empty courts and went in and started hitting the ball. Instantly loved it. I play approx 4x a week.

What is one of your biggest strengths on the court?
I am not sure if this is a strength of not...however, I try to be unpredictable. I am also ambidextrous. 

Are you a tournament player? If so, what's your favorite tournament and why?
 Yes. I love going in the tournaments. Being from Mill River, it gives me an opportunity to hang with all the other players. I enjoy the social aspect of it.
Mill River because it is my home court and we are all under the same roof. Love the social on Saturday night. It's a family event. Great seeing everyone come to my neck of the woods. 

What racquet do you use and what would your strongest and weakest shot be?
I use a Dunlop Inferno. I have used many different ones over the years. Manta, Black Knight etc.
My strongest shot is my right hand cross court drop to the left side. My weakest shot is  my left hand cross court drop to the right side. Ha!

What is your proudest squash moment?
When I moved from B to A  because it is a hard division to get out of....HOWEVER, winning the Geezer Goblet on home soil the same weekend Djkovic won the Aussie Open...ranks right up there! 
Thanks Squash PEI for your hard work and effort. Aside from news and fishing websites...Squash PEI is the go-to. Much appreciated. 

 

Congrats Scott!!

Monday
Jan162012

Playa of the Week

He's fit. He's fast. And his shots are on the mark.
Darren Chaisson has always been good, but his natural talent for squash combined with fitness and more experience on the "T", has made it so that in a short period of time, he's become one of the best players on the Island. Darren has had a huge month with squash already, representing PEI at the National Men's Team Championships, along with brother, Mitch, and buddy Mike Buchanan. Darren performed spectacularly well, with big wins again New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, and tough, hard-fought losses to Manitoba, BC, and Nova Scotia. Darren and his teammates hard work on and off the court resulted in PEI securing a 7th place ranking, out of 12 teams. 
This past weekend was also a good one for Darren. In the Junior Fundraiser Tournament, Darren met brother and teammate from the week before, in the semi-finals. Several long rallies and many crazy shots later Mitch came out on top - but we expect more entertaining match ups from those two in teh future. Darren took that loss in stride, however, and took down patriarch of our own squash dynasty, Lester Jinks, in 3.
It seems the only way to get ahead of Darren is to find out some of his secrets . . . he shared a few with us!!
How long have you been playing squash? How many times a week do you get onto the courts?
I have been playing Squash for almost 5 years. I try to get on court twice a week.

What is one of your biggest strengths on the court?
I don't know if I have any strengths, but I really try to use my fitness to help me win matches.

You just participated at the National Team Championships. What was that experience like?
I had the time of my life at Nationals.  It was lots of fun hanging out with Mitch, Mike and Chansey and  
free breakfast, lunch, supper and beer, didn't hurt the experience any.  Just being around that level of squash  
for a full weekend was extremely exciting. 

What did you learn at the Nationals that you plan to bring back to your game on the Island?
Something I've learned at Nationals hmm...I need to minimize errors, my shots need to be tighter, harder and I need to be fitter.

What racquet do you use and what would your strongest and weakest shot be?
I use a Harrow racquet (thanks to Mitchell), and my weakest shot would be any type of drop shot, and my strongest  
shot would be my forehand cross court nick...haha
I would like to thank the many volunteers that run squash PEI, from the time spent with junior development programs to tournament directors, you all do an amazing job!!
Thank you Darren!