#15 Wendy Lawrence; making sense of GWU, Brown & Stanford dropping Varsity Squash.

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

We connect with Wendy Lawrence, who recently retired as the Division 1, Head Men’s & Women’s Squash Coach of George Washington University.

 

While Wendy is originally from New York City, she has made Washington, DC her home for over 40 years and her efforts have helped put DC on the Squash Map.

 

 

 

 

Wendy distinguished herself amongst her peers with several leadership & sportsmanship awards but also developed the GWU Team as one of the college’s most successful Programs from a rankings perspective.

One of the main impetus behind connecting with Wendy, was getting her thoughts on the announcement that has sent shockwaves through the Squash community with Top tier Colleges removing their squash programs from Varsity status, those schools include,  Brown, Stanford & George Washington.

Wendy has a unique perspective on these developments, as during her tenure, she was part of the Leadership Team that guided the College Squash Association through some big changes.

Off the court, Wendy is someone I’ve always personally turned to for advice or perspective and it is a pleasure to collaborate with her on any project.

We were honored to have Wendy as a guest, and 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

#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

Drexel’s Athletic Director, Dr. Eric Zillmer shares building a National Ranked (Top 5) college squash program, how Squash fits into the NCAA & more….


Squash Radio is bringing the ‘inside’ of squash to life by serving up the best stories from Squash World.  Today we sit down with Dr. Eric Zillmer who is the Director of Athletics and Carl R. Pacifico Professor of Neuropsychology at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

For the past 20 years, Dr. Zillmer has been a transformational force behind Drexel Athletics.  As just a small example of their success, their Squash program which launched in 2011 around the 30/40’s rankings in the 2017 season cracked the Top 5 in the Country, defeating Teams like Yale, University of Pennsylvania & Princeton.

Website: for more blogs posts & books written by Dr. Zillmer click on his website, including the behind the scenes access of Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.   http://www.ericzillmer.com/

Videos of Dr. Eric Zillmer: