Jamaica Squash Association president Karen Anderson says her tenure as regional vice president of the Caribbean for the Federation of Pan-American Squash board, will be used to forge new partnerships, as well as to strengthen to federation's governance structure to drive growth and improve the region's competitiveness in the sport.

Anderson, who is currently serving a second term at the helm of the Jamaica Squash Association, was recently appointed second in command of the Caribbean for the Federation of Pan-American Squash board during an election in Santiago, Chile. Her four-year term began earlier this November.

She welcomes the new position and is ready to stamp her ideas on the association for the betterment of the sport locally and regionally.

"It is a true honour to serve the Caribbean on the Federation of Pan-American Squash board. We shall be directing policy for squash in the region over the next four years which is a great opportunity and great time as Olympics is in that five-year window, so it really will shape and determine the policy for squash in the region," Anderson said.

Anderson is an accomplished squash player, who represented Jamaica up until recently. As a professional player she attained a career high world ranking of number 94 in 2005. She joined the Women's Squash Players Association in the same year. She is a squash coach locally and has guided many players to national and regional representation.

She is currently leading the charge for the Jamaica Squash Association to attain full charitable status and be known as Jamaica Squash, along with an aggressive governance transformation with the expectation of a more robust organization financially and competitively in the region and beyond, to include qualifying players for the 2028 Olympics where squash will feature as a new sport on the schedule.

"It will factor and feature in a number of things such as referring (and) coaching, so we are very excited and looking forward to see how we can forge some partnerships with our other counterparts in the region to really grow and strengthen our governance structure and our competitiveness in the region but on an international scale as well. I am really looking forward to the next four years as regional VP for the Caribbean on the Federation of Pan-American Squash board," Anderson noted.

The only other Jamaican to serve on the Federation of Pan-American Squash board is Douglas Beckford.

After being re-elected president of Jamaica Squash Association, Karen Anderson is intent on building on the platform laid from her previous term to ensure the continued growth and development of the sport locally.

Anderson, who took the reins of the sporting body last year, was returned for second one-year term which she said represents an opportunity to achieve certain personal ambitions and, by extension, bring visions for the sports progression, to fruition.

To that end, she hopes to finish the governance process of a name change, among other things by mid-2024, as well as to possibly hire a Technical director to assist in the country’s competitiveness at various tournaments.

“As you know, a few years ago all sporting bodies were encouraged to become charitable entities, which is an arduous process and it's also quite expensive, so we had put off for quite a while. But part of my mandate and my manifesto was to do that aspect of it, to become a charitable entity,” Anderson told Sportsmax.tv.

“So, the first resolution spoke to the association becoming a charitable entity; the second one spoke to a name change from Jamaica Squash Association to Jamaica Squash Limited trading as Jamaica Squash and then the third one was to the approval of current constitution of Jamaica's Association subsumed by Articles of Incorporation, which is what governs charitable bodies. So, all of the resolutions were passed and passed unanimously,” she added.

While Anderson reveled in the success of the country’s junior and senior teams at their respective Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) tournament recently, she noted areas in which the country can improve to become more formidable on the regional stage and the appointment of a technical director, she believes is a key component.

“Based on some of the things we saw last year, we added a strength and conditioning coach as a fitness element. All of the juniors and seniors worked with this strength and conditioning coach to get them up to standard and we saw a marked improvement in that and that's something that we're actually going to continue to do,” Anderson shared.

“We have also seen the success of other Caribbean countries that have technical directors and that’s a significant way to increase our competitiveness within the region. We haven't identified the person yet because we need to identify the money first, but we believe that we can turn some of our silver and bronze medals into gold and maybe start to contend and be part of the top two in the region.

“As I've said to the players, if we can't compete and be competitive in this region which is the Caribbean region, then there's no point even trying to take it outside of the Caribbean. Because you need to be able to do it at home first and home for me is the Caribbean. So, that's really where we're looking. It's expensive, but we believe that is direction that we have to go in,” she reasoned.

That said, Anderson, a former National and Caribbean singles champion, pointed out that starting a school programme is also high on her agenda to not only widen the sport’s reach but also the pool from which players are selected for national duties.

“Currently, if you can hit the ball you almost can he selected. We want the kids to fight for a spot so that they become more competitive and learn how to win. So those are the areas that we're going to focus on to improve on some of those results. I would also love to be able to host a Professional Squash tournament attracting the world’s best players to play in Jamaica,” she declared.

Anderson’s executive committee includes Joey Levy, vice president, Gill Binnie, secretary and Deanne Pryce, treasurer. Committee

members are Douglas Beckford, Nathlee Boreland, and Tahjia Lumley.

The Jamaica Squash Association's annual general meeting (AGM) is set to take place on Thursday at 6:00 pm at its home base at the Liguanea Club in Kingston.

The primary decision on the agenda is the resolution to change the name to Jamaica Squash Limited, a charitable entity trading as Jamaica Squash. Amendments to the constitution are also expected to be discussed and approved.

The AGM will also see the the election of officers. The current executive committee members are Karen Anderson - president, Joey Levy - vice president, Gill Binnie - secretary, Deanne Pryce - treasurer, and committee members Douglas Beckford, Nathlee Boreland, Tahjia Lumley, Julian Morrison, Bruce Burrowes, and Stephen Dear.

Morrison, Burrowes, and Dear indicated that they would not be returning to the committee after the AGM.

As the global squash fraternity embarks on raising awareness for the sport, President of the Jamaica Squash Association Karen Anderson wants more women to be involved with the sport.

Former national player Karen Anderson has been elected as president of the Jamaica Squash Association (JSA) at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday.

Anderson a 13-time national champion and former coach has prioritized strengthening the JSA’s governance structure, ensuring financial stability, and accelerating the growth of squash island-wide.

“My involvement in squash is multifaceted from playing to coaching to refereeing, managing teams, and marketing the game and I have the depth of experience and passion to expand the reach of squash within Jamaica while making our players more competitive in regional and international arenas,” Anderson said.

Other areas of focus will include developing a grassroots program that will encompass educational institutions and community-based outreach.  Development programs for coaches and referees will also be an area of emphasis.

The new administration also includes veteran player and IT specialist, Joey Levy as Vice President while financial expert, Deanne Pryce and seasoned administrator, Gill Binnie retained their positions as Treasurer and Secretary, respectively.

 The supporting Executive Committee includes an infusion of current national team players such as Bruce Burrowes, Julian Morrison, and Tahjia Lumley as well as Nathlee Boreland, Stephen Dear, businessman, and squash aficionado, Douglas Beckford.

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