Nearly 100 people registered for the inaugural edition of Le Conqueror Squash Challenge, a fundraiser for breast cancer research held Jan. 23 to 25.
Players competed at the downtown YMCA, which hosted the event, and the Club Sportif MAA on Peel St. provided extra court space, to “hit back at cancer.” More than 60 per cent were playing for the first time in a sanctioned Squash Quebec tournament.
A total of $3,000 was raised. The money will be divided between the Jewish General Hospital’s Segal Cancer Centre and the Cedars Cancer Institute at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
An exhibition match between No. 1-ranked Canadian women’s squash player Samantha Cornett and No. 3-ranked player Alexandra Norman was the hit of the event, said tournament director Laurie Lanfer.
The tournament was the first event of the Conqueror Project, launched by West Island resident Kathleen Lamb after learning in March 2014, that she has breast cancer.
Hearing the diagnosis was an “aha” moment, said Lamb, who is paralyzed on one side as the result of a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2008 “I realized I had survived the stroke against all odds, so I could do something constructive with my life.”
Lamb, 61, had worked in marketing for Black Knight Canada, a manufacturer of squash and badminton rackets, for about a decade. “Because I was connected, I know a lot of coaches in the badminton and squash communities,” she told Applause.
She set up the project with help from encouragement from her husband and friends — and through the generosity of others for instance. Notary Stamatis Elefteriou waived his fee to do the charity registration set-up. Lanfer worked tirelessly to organize the January tournament and to bring in some of Canada’s top squash players.
The project has been named the official charity of this year’s Women’s World Team Squash Championship, to be held Dec. 1 to 6 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Learn more about the project at www.conquerorproject.com. Look for a brief and moving video by Dr. Mark Basik, a surgical oncologist at the Jewish General.