WELCOME TO THE ONTARIO SQUASH HALL OF FAME

SUSAN SWIFT, A LIFE WELL LIVED

1938 – 2021

 

Susan Swift was a wife, a mother, a Granny, a sister, a friend, a physiotherapist, an animal lover and an athlete. We lost that Susan a while ago to Alzheimer’s. On March 13, we lost the rest of Sue to cancer. She was 83.

Sue leaves behind her husband Tony Swift of 40 yrs, her three children Nick Fleming-Wood (Kristen), Joanne Langlois (Paul) and Simon Fleming-Wood (Shannon). Sue will always be remembered as an engaged and loving “Granny” and will be remembered forever by all of her 8 grandchildren : Brette, Cole, Simon, Gus, Bennett, Ainsley, Emma and Sophie.

Sue will also be missed by “her cherubs” (sisters) Lisa Finch (Barrie) and Janet “Teen” Bradbury (Pete). She was predeceased by her parents Jimmy Bennett and Sybil Bennett.

Sue will be greatly missed by her nephews, David Finch (Tamara) and Steve Finch (Tracy) and sister-in-law, Joy Swift.

One of her great loves was, of course, squash. As a player, Sue won the Over 40 Canadian softball singles title in 1978 as well as winning the over 55 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championships in 1995 with her husband, Tony. Sue was a teaching professional at Bridlewood Squash Club. She was also instrumental in creating and organizing the inaugural Ontario Mixed Doubles Championships.

In 2005, the Ontario Squash Hall of Fame was created with two eligibility categories – Builder and Player. Sue was nominated for and inducted into the Hall in its first induction ceremony as a Builder and all subsequent nominations in that category are measured against her outstanding contributions to squash in Ontario and in Canada which were many and varied and were made over several decades.

She was instrumental in bringing the three fractious factions of squash in Ontario (men’s hardball, men’s softball and women’s squash) together to create Squash Ontario in 1976. She had been involved as a volunteer since 1971 and was President of the Ontario Ladies Squash Racquets Association during these formative years. The OLSRA was the only group to have its act together in those days, and under Sue’s leadership, had already laid the groundwork for several significant initiatives which enhanced not only women’s squash but squash in general.

Sue went to England to confer with the Women’s Squash Rackets Association there to help her develop programs for use in Ontario for both coaching and officiating. These were ultimately adopted by nearly all the squash associations in Canada. Sue was on the first crucial Board of Directors of Squash Ontario that was responsible for establishing the office, hiring an Executive Director and “calming the still choppy waters of amalgamation”.

Not satisfied with the work done on the provincial level, Sue used her considerable skills to full advantage on many committees at the national level culminating in her election as President of the Canadian Squash Racquets Association, the predecessor of Squash Canada, in 1981 and the first woman to hold this position.

In 1981, Sue chaired the organizing committee of the Women’s World Championships that were being held in North America for the first time. The event was a tremendous success and established Canada as a serious international host of major world events.

In 1986, Sue was awarded the prestigious Special Achievement Award by the Province of Ontario for her outstanding contribution to her sport (83 nominations province-wide were received that year and only 3 chosen).

Sue worked as a physiotherapist in a private clinic for 23 years, after Bridlewood closed its doors.

She was a lovely, kind, and warm person who always had a mischievous twinkle in her eye.

She loved nature and all animals; her dachshunds, her cats and all birds, especially her adopted owls. Sue loved to listen to music, notably Neil Diamond and The Tragically Hip.

We are comforted in knowing that Susan Swift finally knows who Susan Swift is again.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sue’s memory to The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada or The Owl Foundation in Vineland Ontario.

Susan Swift

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