A local business owner and respected squash coach received a rare and prestigious national recognition for his notable contributions to the game. Squash Canada has awarded Stuart Dixon, 71, with the Certificate of Achievement for his significant ongoing contributions to squash in Canada on a provincial level. Only one such distinction is awarded nationwide each year.
“I met Stuart soon after I came to Oak Bay more than 30 years ago. I have been a club member ever since,” said Phil Illingsworth, a realtor who lives in Oak Bay. “It’s not only about squash. Stuart has created such a welcoming atmosphere, that it is always fun to be there.”
Dixon, a fixture of the local and national squash scene for decades, was first inducted into Squash Canada’s Hall of Fame in 2010 for his coaching achievements. In 1983, he and his wife Sandy Drever were instrumental in establishing the facility known today as the Victoria Squash Club on Cook Street. 35 years later, he is still as enamoured with the game as he ever was.
“I feel so lucky that I chose squash as my sport. It’s super healthy, you can play all your life, and the community is always incredibly supportive,” says Dixon, joking that it also doesn’t hurt he met his wife at a squash tournament. All kidding aside, he says that without his wife’s support, the club would not exist today.
“What keeps both of us going is our dedicated and tight-knit community of squash players. This is about people as much as it’s about squash,” Dixon reveals, “I get incredible joy from seeing the people I coach and mentor enjoy themselves and improve their skills.”
Over the years, thousands of Victorians of all ages and abilities have learned to play – and love – squash at Dixon’s Victoria Squash Club. Some have even gone on to play professionally.
“Stuart has built a wonderful community at the Victoria Squash Club. He has created a welcoming place for total beginners and regular players alike, from young children to mothers and fathers, even octogenarians,” said Chris Hanebury, St. Michaels University School professional coach.
Dixon invites anyone and everyone to drop in and try the game that has given him so much lifelong joy.
“New players are always welcome, no prior experience is required,” says Dixon. “Introductory lessons are free – no obligation, and, equipment is provided. We’re always looking to welcome new members into our community, even for a short visit.”
He says even dogs are welcome at the club – although they are discouraged from hitting the courts. The Victoria Squash Club, at 1811 Cook St., has five regulation size squash courts, a small gym and an outdoor area for dogs. Learn more online at victoriasquashclub.com.
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