#16: Lauren Patrizio Xaba is the Executive Director & Founder of SquashDrive. Breaking down walls & looking to grow outdoors Squash

For some quick background on our guest in this episode, here’s a quick overview.

Lauren Patrizio Xaba is the Executive Director & Founder of SquashDrive, the Squash & Education Alliance program based out of Oakland, California. Lauren has been at the helm since 2009, leading the program to evolve & grow to increase their mission’s impact.

We cover a variety of topics from; what it’s like navigating their core student-programing during a pandemic, how Lauren positioned herself to start Squash Drive and where the program is looking to break new ground in the sport….literally.

After College, Lauren launched her career in Marketing working at companies like Comcast & JP Morgan Chase, before coming to a decision point on what to do next.  When these crossroads happen, like many others, Lauren reached back to her roots and decided to explore how squash could make an impact in people’s lives.

Today, Lauren and the SquashDrive Board of Directors are embracing innovative thinking to be the first SEA program to have outdoor courts! The outdoor concept started as “wouldn’t this be great to have” but during Covid times, the conversation gave new perspective to the need and urgency.

The growth of Outdoor squash has been a topic of discussion for many decades but only a handful of courts currently exist. There is a major growth opportunity in this area but we first need to connect the passion, people & resources for more projects to be successful.

Lauren has been on the West Coast for 15 years, but she is originally from Philadelphia and while attending University of Pennsylvania, she Captained the Squash Team.

It was a pleasure to have Lauren as a guest and we would love to hear from anyone who is looking to grow squash outdoors! We hope you enjoy the conversation.

We are always looking for new stories and love your help! Squash Radio has already shared some audience stories but we are always looking for more.

Reach out to us on any social media app or email squashradio@gmail.com.  As always, thanks for listening!

Music brought to you from: www.bensound.com

#14 West Coast growth; in Students through Squash. Renato Pavia, CEO of Access Youth Academy, shares his philosophy and journey. Brazilian native imports his passion to San Diego and inspires change!


We talk with Renato Paiva, who is the CEO, or Executive Director of Access Youth Academy in San Diego, California.  Access Youth is part of the Network of S-E-A, Squash Education Alliance, a non-profit After School Youth program, combing Squash training and Academic enrichment.

Renato, has been leading the charge in San Diego since 2007 and on top of

his role with Access Youth, he’s been raising awareness for the sport on the West Coast to inspire more growth of Squash.  One of his students, Reyna Pacheco, is an inspiring example of how a dedicated Coach can remarkably impact the trajectory of a person’s life and their family.  As an undocumented immigrant, Reyna went from a novice squash player, to playing Varsity at Columbia before turning Pro.  Reyna has since retired as a Professional but moved onto the Financial sector working at Goldman Sachs.

This  player/Coach story is now encapsulated in ‘Hollywood’ history, by Apple TV filming their story for the series Little America  (click link to watch) and highlights just one of the impactful stories Access Youth delivers for all students involved.

The dream for many programs like Access Youth Academy, is to have their own dedicated squash facility.   In order to secure a permanent home in San Diego, Renato and the Board of Directors had to be resilient against the ups & downs, twists and turns that these projects usually endure before success.  Essentially, Renato was deploying the same core message he shares every day with his students “small things, every day, for a long period of time…that’s how change happens!”

And what does success look like? Millions of dollars raised, a $5.5 Million Grant from the City of San Diego, all towards building a home for this non-profit to help serve more students.

Before being Executive Director, he was originally from Brazil.  As a junior squash player, Renato played for the Brazilian National Team.  After graduating from college in Brazil, he made the move to the United States, Coaching at Harvard University before making the move out West.

Renato has boundless energy and channels it to drive the growth of Squash on the West Coast and propel the lives of his Student to a better tomorrow.

We hope you enjoy our conversation.

We are always looking for new stories and love your help! Squash Radio has already shared some audience stories but we are always looking for more.

Reach out to us on any social media app or email squashradio@gmail.com.  As always, thanks for listening!

Music brought to you from: www.bensound.com

#13 Pushing new heights; for MetroSquash & himself! Princeton Grad, David Kay shares his journey of the Chicago non-profit, after school youth program.

For some quick background on our guest in this episode, here’s a quick overview,

Mayor Emanuel, Congressman Rush And Alderman Cochran Open THE HUSSAIN METROSQUASH ACADEMIC & SQUASH CENTER in Woodlawn (2015)

We talk with David Kay, who is the CEO of MetroSquash, a thriving non-profit After Squash Youth Squash program, based in Chicago. During his 15 years at the helm of MetroSquash, he’s helped raised millions of dollar, built an permanent 10 Million home for the program, including 8 Squash courts, office space & classrooms.  They have expanded locations to include programs on both the North and South of Chicago.  The Team David works with has over 20 staffers, more than 100 volunteers, a 40 person Board of Directors with an Auxiliary board of 60 people.

All this is done, to help enrich the lives of more than 400 students.  Most students join the program in middle-school, where MetroSquash Team (and Teammates) will be together through High-school, College and help launch their careers.

David is originally from Canada, and he rose through the the ranks of Junior Squash.  Earned a spot to attend Princeton University, where he helped them win a National Team Championship.  After college, he continued to pursue Squash become a Teaching professional, a Head College coach as well as soaring to World #2 on the Pro Doubles Tour.

Brian Sedlak (left – MetroSquash Boardchair) & David Kay (right – MetroSquash CEO)

David has always thrived on pushing himself through challenges which includes getting an MBA while working, in Karate getting the Brown belt, with black tips, traveling to all seven continent and even climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

David is a deep thinker and a doer who pours his energy into bettering himself and others to help make the World a better place for MetroSquash Students, their parents, alums, the staff, volunteers, board member and auxiliary board.

David Kay & Conor O’Malley (2006 & 2020 respectively)

We hope you enjoy the conversation!

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We are always looking for new stories and love your help!  Squash Radio has already shared some audience stories but we are always looking for more.  Reach out to us on any social media app or email squashradio@gmail.com.  As always, thanks for listening!

Music brought to you from: www.bensound.com

 

#12: Raising Arizona Squash; James Dodson, Squash Dad, former Chicagoan, now a Phoenician, always playing, building

Paulette, Julius & James Dodson

In this episode we connect with James Dodson who launched his publishing career covering youth and poverty issues for Youth Communication and the RFK Memorial where he picked up the game.  He’s devoted to using squash to enrich the lives of young people.  And, in his new residence of Phoenix founded Arizona Squash, Inc.  He’s partnered with Empower College Prep, Grand Canyon University and the Family Life Center at North Phoenix Baptist Church to support a largely multi-ethnic under-served community in the city’s West Valley.

James is no stranger as to what it takes to build a successful squash program, he is a Founding Board Member and Past Board Chair of Chicago’s MetroSquash.  In 2005 MetroSquash was the first National Urban Squash initiative founded outside of the East Coast.  In 2015, MetroSquash raised $8 million and opened its primary squash and academic center near the campus of the University of Chicago to serve the program’s students.

This month Arizona Squash launched programming with its first class of students while undergoing a fundraising campaign to convert squash courts and recruit a full-time Executive Director.  To learn more visit, http://www.arizonasquash.org/.

Click on video to hear James Dodson pitching at SEED Spot

#11: Building Squash with Southern Hospitality

Squash Radio explores squash in the South & teamed up with Richard Millman who recorded stories from Atlanta, Louisville and his new hometown in Chattanooga to share these great stories.

The theme of this episode is building Squash.  We share snapshots of these communities where you will hear from a cast of characters all from different walks of life, different background even with different “jobs & roles” but all have shared passion for the sport squash.  Each segment will show squash at different stages from; how a squash club got built to reinvigorating a squash program with a new squash professional, to how squash could help grow your business and of course the deep impact it can have on your health.

Credits:
Many thanks to all those who helped make this episode possible but a special thanks to Richard Millman for his tireless work, recording and partnership on this episode.  Contributors; Scott Monen, Taylor Monen, Mike Monen, Jay Hatcher, Aaron Myerson, Dr. Gary Myerson, Keith Clemens, Lee Scott, Reuben Phillips, David Andes, Tom Rumpler,  Scenic City Squash, Louisville Boat Club, Windy Hill Athletic Club, Midtown Athletic Club Atlanta & of course, the always welcoming Squash Community!

We are always looking for new stories and love your help!  Squash Radio has already shared some audience stories but we are always looking for more.  Reach out to us on any social media app or email squashradio@gmail.com.  As always, thanks for listening!

Music brought to you from: www.bensound.com
Follow us on social media accounts for all the latest news or check back here at  www.squashradio.com.

#9: Top of their field; where business and squash overlap. Jen Gabler & Katline Cauwels reveal their thoughts.

Through a collaborative effort Jen & Katline Teamed up to design a program targeted for young female players to achieve excellence. How you push yourself to achieve excellence on court, can have direct application off court as well!

About Jen Gabler:
Resides in the NY/CT area is the Co-Founder of The Refinery which runs accelerator programs & pitch competitions for Women Tech Entrepreneurs aimed at fueling their success.

Jen’s background has been steeped in the business world, usually applying (deploying) her skills as a CFO, Chief Financial Officer, to help grow those companies as part of the leadership. Jen attend Dartmouth for undergrad and then went onto Columbia for Business School.

Go check out http://therefineryct.com/ to learn more about all the amazing work they are doing for Women in tech.

About Katline Cauwels:
Resides in the NY/CT area and is the co-founder of M Squash Academy, which she founded with her husband. Katline is originally from Belgium, who pursed the top of the Game as Junior becoming the No. 1 Junior ranked player in Europe and cracked the Top 50 on the Professional Tour. Katline pushed herself not only on court but also earned two Masters degrees in Business and Communications respectively… while touring! Go to www.msquash.com to learn more about how to take your game to the next level!

Music brought to you from: www.bensound.com

#8: Curious about College Squash & Ivy League recruiting? Jack Wyant (Penn Head Squash Coach) shares his insights & more!

In this episode, we talk shop with Jack Wyant who is the Head Coach of the  Women’s Squash Team and Director of Squash at the University of Pennsylvania.  Wyant recently wrapped up his 13th season coaching at Penn Athletics and led his Team to back-to-back 2nd place finishes at the Collegiate Championships.

Jack is an experienced player himself, competing at the highest level in the Junior & College (Princeton University grad) ranks racking up National Championships at both levels.  Wyant has also played for Team USA on Junior and Senior Teams but as a Coach led the U.S. Junior Girls to historic heights, earning a 2nd place finish at the 2011 World Junior Team Championships.

In our conversation, we focus on College Squash, talking through the recent milestone announcement to officially dissolve the current separate men’s and women’s associations and form a newly merged organization in partnership with US SQUASH but also spend a lot of time learning more about Penn Athletics and his squash program.  We both thoroughly enjoyed bringing you this episode and look forward to having Jack on again as a future guest.  Enjoy!

NOTES:
Based on the current feedback, more of our listeners are leaning towards the extended version which is why we’ve only released one version of this episode.  If you have a different opinion, please let us know via email squashradio@gmail.com.  As always, thanks for listening!

Music brought to you from: www.bensound.com
Follow us on social media accounts for all the latest news or www.squashradio.com.

#7 Extended: Author, Journalist, Master of Ceremonies & Coach…Alan Thatcher knows all levels of the Sport & shares it all!

In this episode, we connect with Alan Thatcher, who has been helping to grow the Sport of Squash at all levels from the Professional Tour down to the grassroots.  Several years ago he launched www.squashmad.com which is a
fantastic sources for news, articles, activities on how to the grow the sport but most recently he released a book he co-authored with Rod Gilmour called “Jahangir Khan 555: The Untold Story Behind Squash’s Invincible Champion and Sport’s Greatest Unbeaten Run.”

In our conversation, we cover a range of topics from a behind the scenes look at writing his most recent book as well as his role with the Canary Wharf Professional Squash Tournament.  But also get into the weeds about his grass roots efforts of growing the sport and some key factors that could truly help sharing the sport we all love.  We both thoroughly enjoyed this conversation and hope you do too!

Alan Thatcher
555: The untold story of Jahangir Khan The inside story of an amazing unbeaten run in squash:
Published by Pitch and available on Amazon and Kindle.

2017 SELECT GAMING KENT OPEN:
PSA World Tour $10k event at The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, Kent from June 11-18.

Editor and Publisher:
www.squashmad.com

CANARY WHARF SQUASH CLASSIC: March 5-9, 2018
www.canarywharfsquash.com

Chairman, The Mote Squash Club

Based on the current feedback, more of our listeners are leaning towards the extended version which is why we’ve only released one version of this episode.  If you have a different opinion, please let us know via email squashradio@gmail.com.  As always, thanks for listening!

 

#6 On the Road: Richard Millman shares the history, developments and the bright future of the Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta by going behind the scene during the Piedmont Driving Club (PDC) Invitational Tournament.

Squash Radio is thrilled to be teaming up with Richard Millman to bring our audience stories from “On the Road.”   With this new opportunity, we are exploring new ways to bring these stories to life by trying to weave the story through multiple perspectives.  We hope you enjoy our first segment!

‘from little acorns……’ The Piedmont Driving Club is an exalted institution of the old South. It occupies a stately position in mid-town Atlanta with its second, Golf club location in the South of Atlanta.

For many years only members were ever allowed to grace its hallowed halls until one of its number, on falling in love with Squash during his undergraduate days at Penn, persuaded the club and its members to reach out. This initiative from Eben Hardy and the PDC’s board’s willingness to embrace it, flowered into what has become competitive Squash in the South.

Squash Radio reports from this year’s PDC invitational and opens a window to this wonderful and continuing story……..

#5 Extended: Former Stanford Coach, Richard Elliott, with over 30yrs of Coaching experience shares his wealth of knowledge on squash & life as he embarks on a new venture!


In this episode, we talk with Richard Elliott, who was the former Coach at Stanford University who’s women squash program has developed into a National Top 10 ranked program but Richard was there from the beginning when it all started.  Richard has been instrumental in the growth of squash on the West Coast, he shares his experiences and perspective on the growth of squash at the Junior and College level.  Although we dive in deep about coaching, so many of these philosophy’s and principles apply towards life in general.

Based on the current feedback, more of our listeners are leaning towards the extended version which is why we’ve only released one version of this episode.  If you have a different opinion, please let us know via email squashradio@gmail.com.  As always, thanks for listening!