Many people regard Barbados as a Caribbean hotbed for squash players of all ages. Barbados squash had a great time in the last 2 years despite the pandemic. During the pandemic the Barbados Squash (BSA) was awarded the resiliency award by the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) and Barbados even got their first world Masters Champion in Squash. Karen Meakins created history this year when the she won the gold medal in the women’s over 50 category at the 2022 Bertard WSF World Squash Championships in Poland.
Barbados also claimed a bronze medal at the men’s event where Mark Sealy came third in the over 60 category. Both players are established on the local and regional scene where Meakins has won 15 National titles and 3 Caribbean titles. Sealy has also won 8 national titles. It would seem that the strong level of local training and practice was instrumental in helping both of these athletes obtain such accolades on the world stage and both athletes were quick to thank several other local players and the BSA which hired 2 international coaches Mr. Wael El Batran and Mr. Aidan Harrison who assisted them at various stages of their preparation. 
Barbados boast a strong level of junior players and started off their summer in 2022 with their junior national team winning the silver medal for the overall team event at the Caribbean Area Squash Association Championships. In the individual tournament, Sumairaa Suleman won the Girls under 19 title, Darien Benn won the Silver medal in the Boys under 19, Eboni Atherley won the silver medal in the girls under 17 and Daniel Sealy won the bronze medal in the Boys under 13 category. Ben Shepherd (U 13) and Alex Stewart (U 17) placed fourth and Dominic Wilson (U 17) and Lenna Hamati (U 13) won the consolation plate. The team consisted of coaches Aidan Harrison and Richard Walcott with manager Kim Jebodhsingh and 13 players between the ages of 11 and 18, seven of whom were first timers to the championships: Lenna Hamati, Ben Shepherd, Daniel Sealy, Sarrayah Yearwood, Mariella Young and Jules O’ Garro, Joanna Atkins, Eboni Atherley, Alex Stewart, Dominic Wilson, Luke Wilson, Sumairaa Suleman and Darien Benn.
Barbados was one of the first Caribbean countries to develop a school program for squash from which some of our national junior players have been discovered, the pandemic put  the program on pause but this year the Barbados Squash Association plans to roll this out again in an even more expanded way. Each year several junior athletes travel to compete in the US and Canadian Junior Open and this tradition has been instrumental in allowing several young athletes both male and female to receive athletic scholarships and places at some of America’s most prestigious universities and boarding schools. 
Barbados’ senior players also had a good year as was highlighted in their performances at the Commonwealth games in Birmingham England where a relatively young team of local players including Meagan Best, Amanda Haywood, Khamal Cumberbatch, Shawn Simpson and Jada Smith Padmore represented the island. The team was coached by former England player and now international coach Aidan Harrison and managed by Monty Cumberbatch . The majority of the team represent top universities in the United States. Meagan Best plays for the University of Virginia, Khamal Cumberbatch for Trinity College, Jada Smith-Padmore represents William Smith College and Amanda Haywood previously played for the University of Virginia until she graduated this summer. Shawn Simpson, the eldest member of the team provided some critical experience to the team. Simpson and Cumberbatch won the silver medal in the consolation plate tournament in the men’s doubles. 
Barbados followed up their performance at the Commonwealth games with a strong showing at Senior Caribbean Area Squash Association Championships (Senior CASA). The country was represented by Eboni Atherley, Khamal Cumberbatch, Darien Benn, Shawn Simpson, Muffin Stollymeyer, Jodi Smith-Padmore, Stewart St. John and was managed by Michael Best. Khamal Cumberbatch won the silver medal in the men’s singles tournament and Eboni Atherley won the consolation plate in the ladies’ singles tournament. 
Over the years the BSA has put on regular local tournaments to give their athletes opportunities to develop their talent and wherever possible try to expose them to foreign competition. Before the COVID 19 pandemic , the BSA had put on a Spring Break Junior tournament where players from North America and other Caribbean islands were invited to compete with local talent and simultaneously enjoy a family holiday. The BSA has also put on some PSA tournaments where top professional squash players visited the island to compete. The tournaments were supported by squash fans of all ages. In addition, the Barbados Squash Club (BSC) also hosts exhibition matches to satisfy the local appetite for squash. 
Perhaps the largest squash tournament in the island is the annual BCQS Masters tournament which takes place annually at the BSC . Next year the tournament will be held from May 17-20, 2023 at the Barbados Squash club. The last BCQS tournament had more than 130 players from over 12 different countries. The tournament offers everything for the sports tourist; friendly hosts, reasonably priced accommodation and a good level competition in +35, +45, +55 and +65 categories in addition to a number of fun-filled events surrounding the tournament. The competition also features a Catamaran tour of some of the island’s best beaches at the end of the competition. 
The BSA would greatly like to increase the number of squash courts in the island. At the moment the BSC in Marine Gardens has 3 international standard singles courts and 2 of which are air-conditioned glass courts. The club also has a bar where you can enjoy drinks and snacks after your lesson or match. The Pleasant Place Club on Dayrells Road has one stand alone court. Recently the Uplands Squash facility was added to the squash scene, this features an international soft ball air-conditioned singles court along with a café and day spa. All of the squash facilities have professional coaches who offer lessons to players of all ages and skill levels. The Barbados Defence Force also has a squash court which facilitates the schools’ program and National training.