Squash Canada Mourns the Loss of Squash Ontario President Mark Sachvie



OTTAWA (ON) – The Board of Directors, National and Provincial staff of Squash Canada and Squash Ontario are saddened to announce the untimely death of Squash Ontario President, Mark Sachvie who died suddenly of a heart attack while attending Adrian Dudzicki’s memorial service at the National Squash Academy on Saturday November 30, 2013.

Squash Canada President, Lolly Gillen said, “The entire Canadian squash community is devastated by the loss of one of this game's greatest warriors.  His relentless passion, clarity in vision and tremendous ability to continuously succeed has transformed junior squash, bred champions and paved the future. Mark single-handedly was the heart and soul of squash in Ontario and was always one step ahead of everybody in developing the game”. 

Words will never be eloquent enough to voice the warmth and love the Canadian squash community has towards Mark. He was forthright, outspoken, and passionate all at the same time. He was genuine, warm, loyal and caring. 

Mark was an employee at General Motors when he first started working at White Oaks 32 years ago.  He was the creator and lifeline of their racquets program.  He has served two terms on the board of Squash Ontario and serving as the President for the past 3½ years. 

Mark is one of Canada’s premier event organizers and builders of squash. He hosted over 220 squash tournaments during his illustrious career including 10 Canadian Junior Opens, 2 Canadian Junior Squash Championships, 2 Canadian Squash Championships and 43 Provincial Championships.  Mark was the Tournament Director for this weeks upcoming Canadian Junior Open and was slated to be the Championship Director for the 2014 Women’s World Team Squash Championships which are being held December 1 – 6, 2014.

On the court he was a leading squash professional, coaching thousands of squash players in Canada, and organized annual events to Europe with various Canadian players.  He helped plac hundreds of players in US Colleges including his three children, Chris, Lauren and Nick, all of whom attended Cornell University. 

In 2006, Mark Sachvie hired Danny Da Costa, now Squash Canada’s Executive Director, as the Tennis Director & Head of Junior Development at White Oaks.  Da Costa said, “Mark was one of my best friends, biggest supporters and an invaluable mentor to me.  I am devastated by this tragedy and my heart goes out to his wife Cindy, his three children, the board and staff of Squash Ontario and to my former colleagues at White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa”. 

Reaction to Sachvie’s death came as a total shock.  London Squash Club Squash Professional David Moorish said, “our special friendship started in 2002 when I brought kids over from England to play your Canadian Junior Open at White Oaks. We remained friends after that wonderful trip. You found me a job, you came to my wedding. I have never met anyone who has done for squash what you have, or touched as many lives as you have”. 

Squash Canada’s Junior Men’s Coach Jonathan Hill of Calgary, who coached the Canadian team to a 3rd place finish in 2010 which Mark’s son Nick was a part of, said, “It is with great sadness to hear about the loss of Mark Sachive. A builder of the game, incredible coach and leader, you will be sadly missed by everybody in the squash community”. 

Several of Canada’s top touring professionals offered their sympathies including Matthew Serediak and Michael McCue. 

Matt Serediak said, “One of the saddest days in my life. You are absolutely with out a doubt irreplaceable and one of a kind. The number of lives you touched and changed in the squash community is unfathomable. My heart goes out to the Sachvie's, you will be dearly missed my friend”. 

Michael McCue who formed a close personal bond with Mark Sachvie over the years said “A devastating night both personally and for the squash community as a whole. Mark Sachvie was one of the most important figures in Canadian squash for the last 20 years. He was a huge influence on me, and dozens of others, right from the start of my junior career. I have countless memories from squash clubs, restaurants, airports and hotels around the world with Mark, Nick, and anyone else who had the privilege of knowing him. He made squash fun for everyone. He was entirely selfless in his devotion to squash and developing the game, and always stood up for what was right. The coming days will reveal how far-reaching his impact really was. Rest in peace. You will be truly, truly missed”.

Squash Canada offers its deepest sympathy and condolences to the Sachvie family and to all of those who have been touched by this great leader.  Mark's legacy will live on through the people he has profoundly affected in his lifetime. Mark Sachvie will always be in our hearts. 

Funeral arrangements have not yet been released.  Squash Canada will continue to provide information and tributes on its website and social media pages.

For more information contact
Danny Da Costa
Executive Director, Squash Canada
Email: ddacosta@squash.ca