Ocean Ma and her sister Spring were only 10 years old when they were first introduced to squash in their hometown of Richmond, B.C.
Roughly six years later the 16-year-old twins are at the top of their game, seeded first and second in the country in their age group. As members of the Team B.C. squash team at the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games, they are definitely two key players to watch closely.
The Ma sisters credit their introduction to the games to their good friend Jacob Lin.
Lin, currently the top-seeded male squash player at the 2023 Canada Winter Games, was the first person to take them to a squash court.
“Jacob started very young and became a great player,” Ocean said. “He got us into the sport. When he led us to a squash court and we played for the first time we both just knew this was a sport we wanted to play, it was so much fun.”
They’ve worked hard to get to where they are now. “We started very late,” Ocean said. “Starting at eleven is very late compared to the other two girls on our team. They started when they were much younger. We had a lot to catch up on. We worked really hard and pushed each other, and then eventually we caught up to everyone else.”
She said they both know that if they had not pushed each other as hard as they did they wouldn’t be here at the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games today. Spring said the fact they have pushed each other so hard to improve their game proved very beneficial when Covid struck.
“During COVID when everything was locked down Ocean and I would still compete with each other, still push each other,” Spring said. Because the squash courts were closed for several months they were forced to improvise. “We drove around the city and looked for school walls that had corners at 90 degrees that we could hit balls against,” Spring said.
Because of that they had less downtime than other players and as a consequence, their game really began to improve very quickly so when the pandemic lifted and they returned to competitive play they began winning national events. People really began to take notice.
They kept up the hard work and eventually reached the point where Ocean is now ranked as the number one female player in her age group and Spring is ranked number two. Their love of the sport continues to grow.
“We love the sport because the people who play it all have such passion for it,” Ocean said. “We know it’s a smaller sport compared to say tennis, but everyone loves the sport and everyone is so invested in it. We love watching the pros play because they inspire us, we love hearing our coaches talk about past events, past competitions, we love traveling the world to play in different competitions.”
Both sisters hope at some point to go pro and play on the PSA ( Professional Squash Association) tour. There are several hundred PSA events each year.
There are also hopes of playing varsity squash in the U.S. when they graduate from high school. And if squash is ever welcomed into the Olympics they would like to play for Canada.
After 16 incredible days, the 29th edition of the Canada Games will officially conclude tonight with the Closing Ceremony from Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown at 7:30 PM AST.
There have been records smashed and countless debuts made by athletes here at the 2023 Canada Games, but yesterday, history was made when female boxing got underway on P.E.I.
Curling in Canada is rich in history, with the first curling club established in Montreal in 1807. This morning, 216 years later, another first in Canadian curling history took place as Mixed Doubles Curling made its Canada Games debut at the Montague Curling Club.
Women’s hockey at the Canada Games returns to P.E.I. where it made its original debut in 1991. In the tournaments since then, numerous Canadian hockey idols have laced up and begun their glorious careers at the Canada Games.
In just six contests this Winter Games, McKenna recorded 29 points including 14 goals, smashing a Canada Games record that stood for 28 years. The previous record for points in a tournament was 27, set by Francois Methot of Quebec in 1995 and tied by Kelsey Tessier of New Brunswick in 2007.
With the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games officially underway, the Canada Games Council (CGC) and the 2023 Host Society are thrilled to celebrate the nation’s top young athletes and their families and friends with the launch of Canada Games House, presented by Canadian Tire.
Let the Games begin! Reminiscent of an Island kitchen party, the athletes were all smiles and a capacity crowd was brought to its feet during the Opening Ceremony of the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games.
After many years of planning, the town of North Rustico reached a historic milestone today with the opening of Eliyahu Wellness Centre at Canada Games Place.
The PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games Host Society is ready to give a warm Maritime welcome to over 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches as they descend on PEI’s friendly shores for the 29th edition of the Canada Games.
It’s only fitting that boxing occurred during Week Two of this year’s Canada Winter Games, coinciding with Women’s History Month, which runs the month of March.
Team Alberta’s figure skater, Lia Cho, is this year’s youngest athlete at Canada Winter Games. She is only 10 years old and stands just over four rulers high.
For the first time in Canada Games history, medals will be awarded in mixed doubles curling. The event made its historic debut this week at the Montague Curling Club.
On day 13 of the 2023 Canada Winter Games, the host province, Prince Edward Island, landed on the podium for the first time. Lucas Macdonald of Stratford, claimed the silver medal in the Men’s +81 kg Judo division Thursday afternoon.
Chants of “Novaaa Scotiaaa” echoed throughout Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre in Charlottetown as proud fans watched Ritu Shah and Thomas Ashton add two silver medals to Team Nova Scotia’s growing medal count.
When people speak of the legacy of the 2023 Canada Winter Games the conversation usually focuses on two things, the lifelong memories people take away from the Games and the new sports facilities the Games leave behind.
At the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta’s Evelyn Beaton took home a gold medal for the individual female - 44 kg Judo division.
Sport and competition often draw metaphoric comparisons to life. For PEI’s Crawford family, it’s remarkable how a sport with a tiny target has brought life’s bigger picture into clear view.Sport and competition often draw metaphoric comparisons to life. For PEI’s Crawford family, it’s remarkable how a sport with a tiny target has brought life’s bigger picture into clear view.
Sporting bright green and blue uniforms, the PEI 2023 volunteers are a dedicated and committed group, intent on making sure the Games provide the best possible experience for the young athletes representing their respective provinces and territories.