Canada Winter Games squash courts ready for play, then a new home

The four new portable squash courts built at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown are ready for play.  (Submitted by Bill Schurman  - image credit)
The four new portable squash courts built at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown are ready for play. (Submitted by Bill Schurman - image credit)

There are four new portable squash courts ready for play at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.

The courts — located in the trade centre part of the building — were purchased by the Canada Winter Games Host Society at a cost of $100,000 each.

Adam Clark is the director of capital projects and venues for the Games.

He said there are no adequate permanent facilities suitable for squash competition on P.E.I., so they had to come up with another solution.

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock
wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Crews started installing the temporary squash facility at Eastlink Centre in December, giving it some final touches last week.

Versatility of portable courts 

Clark said the rigid steel structure and walls can be changed to accommodate different sports.

"The three interior walls can be moved out of position and pushed to the side, and it can open up into one larger facility," he said.

If somebody wanted to go in there and do a spin class or fitness class or basketball, pickleball, it could be modified to accommodate those sports as well. — Adam Clark

"It can be used for things other than squash in its final destination. So if somebody wanted to go in there and do a spin class or fitness class or basketball, pickleball, it could be modified to accommodate those sports as well."

Submitted by Bill Schurman
Submitted by Bill Schurman

Post-games location

Clark said there was an extensive review of where the courts could go after the games.

"At the end of the day, the best positioned candidate that expressed interest was the Town of Stratford, so that's where they're destined to go post-games. We're working with the town now as to where they're going to be stored temporarily until they have a space for the courts."

A spokesperson for the Town of Stratford said the town does have an interest in the courts, which could potentially be used in a future phase of the Stratford Community Campus.

They said a final decision has not been made.

Goal to 'grow the sport of squash on P.E.I.' 

Clark said he expects the new courts will be welcomed by the squash community on P.E.I.

"The goal of the Canada Games is to leave that sport in a better position than where we found it, so hopefully these courts help grow the sport of squash on P.E.I.," he said.

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

Jeremy Stiles is the sport lead for squash for the Canada Games.

He said Island squash players are excited about the new portable courts.

"It's been a long time since any new courts were constructed on P.E.I.," Stiles said.

"I'd say the last ones were in Summerside at the Credit Union Centre there. That's quite a few years ago now," he said.

"They're state of the art and they will convert to two doubles courts, I believe. So we'd be able to expand and increase the availability of different games for people to play, by having doubles."

Stiles said the plan is to hire a full-time coach once the courts are in place at a new facility.