Dynamic leader steps down from Squash Canada and hints at return to tennis
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
Danny Da Costa has quit as Executive Director of Squash Canada. He revealed his career decision in an emotional post on Facebook.
Da Costa said he was looking forward to new challenges and hinted at a possible return to tennis. He worked alongside the late Mark Sachvie at the renowned White Oaks tennis and squash club at Niagara on the Lake before joining Squash Canada. Da Costa also revealed that he wanted to spend more time with his family and less time on road trips.
His Facebook post reads: “Yesterday I went to my son’s school and saw on the wall one of my son’s letters and it said “I wish my dad doesn’t have to take any more trips.” Well, he got his wish. I am no longer the Executive Director of Squash Canada.
“Nearly five years ago, I took a struggling organization and changed it; we grew over 100% during my tenure. I worked tirelessly on trying to repair relationships with people, I have built strong relationships with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Sport Canada and I am very proud of that.
“We also took Squash Canada out of its deficit situation. We hosted Canada’s largest and one of the most successful squash events ever the Women’s World Team Squash Championships.
“We changed our governance structure, built a centre of excellence program, hired new staff, led the strategic planning process and created an online officiating program that is about to be sold and used worldwide.
“We also rebranded Squash Canada twice, created tremendous growth on social media, and our website. This is just some of the stuff we did to turn the organization around.
“Through it all, I put my job ahead of myself and my family. That will never happen again. I love Tanya Murley and Gavin, they have always been there for me and they have always sacrificed themselves for me and my career.
“It’s now time to reflect and ponder my next career move. Maybe a return to tennis is the cards, but I would like to continue leading sport. Tennis is my first love but we will see. Squash became a part of me and I was embraced and strongly supported by the community.
“For those of you in the squash community, I will absolutely miss serving you but I will always be there to support you and your progress.
“I am so proud of my staff: Whitney Fuller, she’s a real star, I took a chance on her and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Whitney has all the tools to lead a national sport organization and I am so proud to have been a key contributor to her development.
“It’s been an honour to hire and work with Jamie Hickox, one of the game’s greats, to lead our High Performance Program. Jamie is one of the most respected coaches and players in squash worldwide.
“He was the national coach of one of the leading countries in the world (Malaysia) and is a real pro on and off the court.
“I want to thank the board of Squash Canada for the opportunity, they took a chance on a passionate and hard-working leader and I hope the next person will continue to built on our vision. I thrive in change situations and respect that change is good.
“There are so many people that I would like to acknowledge and thank and hopefully we can continue to stay in touch.
“I don’t like writing Facebook posts, and it’s rare for me to do this, but I felt that i needed to share this with you. This is not the end of me, it’s the beginning of something new. Thanks for your support.”
Danny Da Costa