Legend known as the McEnroe of squash to lead National Centre of Excellence
Canada’s former world No.1, Jonathon Power, has been hired to lead Squash Canada’s National Centre of Excellence Program beginning this September.
Power, one of the most iconic and influential names in squash worldwide, will lead the day-to-day training environment of Squash Canada’s National Centre of Excellence Program located at the National Squash Academy (NSA) in Downsview Park, Ontario.
“The Centre of Excellence will be the centralized hub for elite athletes to be constantly exposed to a structured, supervised and motivating daily training environment geared specifically to achieving a player’s ultimate potential.” said Power.
“Squash is exploding around the world right now and I’m determined to see Canada recognized as one of the most dominant nations in the game.”
Power’s illustrious career includes winning 36 Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour titles in 58 finals as well as winning the World Open (1998), the British Open (1999), the Super Series Finals (2003 and 2005), the PSA Masters (2001, 2002 and 2005), the Tournament of Champions (1996, 1999, 2000 and 2002), men’s singles Gold Medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and was a three-time champion of the PACE Canadian Squash Classic.
In an era that followed the domination of the sport by the mighty Khans, Jahangir and Jansher, Power struck up two extraordinary rivalries. His battles with Peter Nicol (right) were a classic contrast in styles, with Nicol the Borg to Power’s McEnroe.
His matches with Palmer were often explosive affairs where physical contact frequently added extra sparks of excitement and controversy that challenged referees and entertained audiences the world over.
The Centre of Excellence’s national team and transition athlete programs will include coaching support, integrated sport training and competition support at the NSA and will be funded by the Road to the Podium (R2P) campaign, an initiative just recently launched by Squash Canada.
“This is the first time in Canadian history that the private sector has committed major financial resources solely to an elite high performance development and training program.” said Gary Slaight, Chair of the R2P Campaign.
“JP is inspirational and exudes success. He will be a pivotal asset in getting our Canadian talent back on top of the world stage.”
Power joins former Malaysian National Coach Jamie Hickox, who was hired as Squash Canada’s Performance Director in 2012.
Hickox himself was a former World #15 on the Professional Squash Association Rankings has coached many top ranked international players and represented both Canada and England at the World Team Championship.
Squash Canada Executive Director Danny Da Costa said: “The addition of Jonathon Power will greatly enhance the opportunity of our athletes to be successful; he definitely elevates the level of our high performance program.
“Through the generosity of the Canadian squash community, Squash Canada is in a stronger financial position to provide the best training tools and a much stronger competition environment. Our mission is international excellence.”
The 2014 – 2015 Canadian National Team Program features two new programs: Transition Squad and Talent Identification Programs which are geared to support talented athletes who have the potential to represent Squash Canada in future national team competitions.