Published on June 12, 2022 at 10:13 a.m.
Syan Singh of Mississauga will represent Canada at the upcoming 2022 WSF World Junior Squash Championships to be held August 11-21 in France. PICTURES SUBMITTED
Syan Singh doesn’t like losing anything.
Not even a little, admits the 18-year-old from Mississauga.
“Board games, my academics. Everything I do, I just want to do my best and see if I can beat the people around me,” Singh said.
It is this drive and drive that has helped make Singh one of Canada’s top young squash players.
“I found that in everything I do, even at a very young age, I always wanted to be the best because I don’t like to lose,” said Singh, who is the No. 1 in Canada and ranked in the top five in North America.
“I am very competitive. I don’t like to be slow to get (where I want to go). It continues to motivate me to keep improving in this sport.
Singh had that fierce competitive drive during the Canadian National Squash Championships last month in Victoria, BC.
Not only did he win the national title, but he made Canadian history by doing so without losing a single game.
This follows his victory at the Canadian Junior Squash Championship (CJO) where he lost only one match.
“I wanted to save my body as much as possible, I don’t know,” Singh said when asked to do some fast work competition at the CJO. “I didn’t train a lot on a physical level, so I knew how important it was to win in straight sets.”
By winning both national tournaments, Singh became only the fifth player in Canadian history to win back-to-back CJO and national championships.
“Honestly, I don’t think it’s that bad,” he said. “I just like to think about what’s next. Forget what I won and move on to my next goal.
Singh now has his eyes set on the upcoming 2022 WSF World Junior Squash Championships to be held August 11-21 in France. He admits that being selected to represent Canada at the world championships is special and something he really wanted.
“I’m extremely proud of that,” said the teenager who will be the No. 1 spot for Team Canada. “As a young junior, that’s the only thing you look forward to is making the national team for the world championships and I finally made it.
“It’s a dream come true and it’s really nice. My hard work is finally starting to pay off.
The journey here for Singh has been filled with many hours of hard work and a list of those who have supported him along the way.
At first, Singh focused on hockey. He loved the game and played it until he was 12, when he said he and his parents realized he was too small.
His transition to squash was made through friends.
“I ended up playing it by accident,” Singh explained. “My friends were like trying it and I really liked it. It was by accident that I ended up doing this sport.
I didn’t know what it was before and ended up loving it a lot. And here I am.”
He would end up playing at the Ontario Racquet Club and, at the age of 13, would jump on a GO train at 6 a.m. in Port Credit and head to the Toronto Athletic Club to work with coach Matt Seridak before going back up. on the train to go to school.
Spotted at the age of 15, he left Mentor College in Mississauga and attended Kent School, an American preparatory school in Connecticut.
He recently led the school to an American High School Squash Championship, beating the longtime winner and favoring Brunswick Academy in the tournament which featured more than 60 teams from across the country.
Singh was also named an “All-American”, a prestigious award given to the top high school athletes in the United States.
When the pandemic closed clubs and fitness centers here in Canada, Singh continued to train on a wooden mini-court in the basement of his house.
On a trip to Florida, Canadian squash player Jonathan Power recommended that he visit a brand new racquetball club there if he was serious about continuing to train.
Singh visited the Kinetic Indoor Racquet Club in Boynton Beach and there he met his coach and former world best player Wael El Hindi.
“He took my game to another level,” Singh said. “I wouldn’t be where I am, 100%, without him.”
As if Singh wasn’t busy enough, he also found time to run a sneaker business, a real passion for him.
For the past four years, the young teenager has run a sneaker resale business and made over $50,000.
“He is an entrepreneur at heart and hopes to put the skills he learned on the squash court to work for his future business aspirations,” said his mother, Mona Singh.
Singh’s determination and drive also come into play in the classroom. He continued to be an honor student throughout his high school years and he plans to go to college in the fall of 2023.
“I know I’m not the smartest person and I can’t beat the kids at my school very much because our schoolwork is rigorous, but I just want to try to do my best in everything I do” , did he declare.
“Besides, my parents want me to do well. I guess that’s one of the rules. I have to continue my schoolwork to be able to play squash.
Singh has also been invited to play for Canada at the upcoming Pan Am Games this summer.
“I think maybe I could go if it doesn’t interfere with the world junior championships, which is a few weeks before,” he said. “I still have to decide if I want to go there, but if I end up going there and competing, that would be really cool. It would be a fun event.
Singh’s goals for the future remain to go to college and win the NCAA’s top individual tournament before eventually turning pro after his school career.
The teenager says it’s been a whirlwind in recent years since stepping onto a squash court, but wants to make it clear he’s had a lot of help along the way.
Like his parents.
“It’s really good that my mother supports me and my father helps me a lot,” he said.
And all the people he calls his team.
“I feel like I wouldn’t be where I am without them,” Singh said. “I am really grateful to them. I’m really lucky to have them in my life. »
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