Friday, November 21, 2008

Open Letter to Squash Canada












Dear Squash Canada,

How are you?

It’s Robert and I am writing to you as fan of our game and as a past participant of the yearly celebration known as “The Canadian Squash Championships”.

I’m desperately waiting for information for the upcoming nationals. Where is it going to be held this year? I’ve heard rumours about Montreal (fantastique!) but the cynics are grumbling that you’ll probably hold it in Toronto again (yawn). I overheard someone say it could be Ottawa. That could be fun:) I check your website, www.squash.ca, almost every day for news but so far nothing and I’m becoming a bit impatient.

(I’ll grant that you’ve got last year’s event info up but, oh jeez, you still haven’t posted any photos! All the page says is “Information Coming Soon!” - That tournament was in April! What the hizzy? Did someone lose the film?)

I’m worried about you Squash Canada. And I’m worried about our beloved game. We’re talking about the NATIONALS here! Where are the press releases? Where’s the fanfare? The posters? At the very least, where are the posters that are supposed to convince us to come and play? Last year I didn’t see a poster at my club. Check that: I didn’t see a poster in Vancouver. (If you sent out an email reminder to your members I didn’t get it.)

Squash Canada, I did a little research on the number of participants taking part in the nationals and what I found was a little disconcerting. In 2005 the Canadian Squash Championships, in Vancouver, hosted 434 players (which is still a ridiculously small percentage of Canadians playing) but last year the number had dropped to under 300. Ouch. I’d like to think that it’s because the host club (White Oaks) opted out of having a companion event (where A’s through D’s could play instead of being forced to play in age categories) but I’m not sure. The numbers have been shrinking for a while and I bet you're worried that your sponsors may catch wind of this.

So, let’s bring the numbers back up! Let’s invite ALL Canadian squash players to their nationals! Mandate that the next host club include a companion event so that every level of player can participate. Here’s an added bonus: I can guarantee that a lot of the players playing in the companion event will buy tickets to see the Open matches. We love the game so much that we’ll fill the stands in front of the glass court. Your sponsors will love to see that!

Anyway, give it some thought Squash Canada and let me know as soon as you can where the nationals are going to be. Christmas is coming and I want to know how many Air Miles to ask Santa for.

All the best,
Robert

1 comment:

Jericho said...

Robert is absolutely on the money!

Hosting nationals solely for OPEN players removes the options for aspiring players to get excited about their sport and spent some serious dough. As a D, C and then B player, I spent thousands watching the pros play at nationals. AND I was surrounded by B, C and D level players, who WISHED they were open or PRO as well, but are working folk spending the big bucks on squash, instead. Now as an A player, I would love to come to the A event, but my friends who are below A are excluded.

By excluding the companion event, you are excluding the market the spends the most on squash, gets excited by what they see, and in turn spend money in the home communities with their pros on lessons, tourneys and drills.

Bring back the excitement for squash...I will help Robert lead the parade from the west (Although he doesn't really need a helper, he is too well connected in squash out here).

I, too, agree that Montreal serait fantastique!!! Ottawa would also be great.

Cheers
Max