After a successful run last year, the Rob LeNoury Memorial Squash Program has once again partnered with North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society (NOYFSS) to introduce eight kids, ages eight to 14, to the game of squash at The Roster Sports Club.
LeNoury, a gentle giant with a big smile, was a regular at the club since moving to Vernon in 2003. His passing in April 2020 left a hole in the hearts of his family, friends and the squash community. But his love for the game of squash and youth development lives on through his legacy – the memorial program that honours his passion.
A former competitive squash player, LeNoury was passionate about all sports — as a player, fan and father. He loved nothing more than to watch his son Michael compete and would drive anywhere to cheer him on. LeNoury also worked for NOYFSS in the family services division for 14 years, coaching and mentoring children and their parents.
“Rob felt that sports were important in the development of kids, both physically and mentally,” his wife Katrina LeNoury said. “We had a very successful program last year thanks to The Roster and are thrilled to once again have an opportunity for local youth to enjoy a sports activity that they may not have otherwise been able to. My hope is that this experience positively impacts the development of these youth and their outlook on life, something Rob was dedicated to doing as part of the NOYFSS team.”
NOYFSS has been serving children, youth and families in the North Okanagan since 1974, delivering a broad range of social programs that strengthen, nurture and protect the healthy development of children, youth and families. Programs are delivered through community-based outreach, skill-building and educational groups and residential services. NOYFSS serves more than 1,200 families per year.
Executive director Dean Francks worked alongside LeNoury for almost 13 years.
“He was outstanding in all his roles with NOYFSS, was very popular amongst the staff team and was always available to lend a hand,” said Francks. “Like Rob, I’m a firm believer that sports play a big role in supporting the healthy development of youth. The Rob LeNoury Memorial Squash Program will benefit youth by not only promoting physical health and exercise but also in areas such as working in groups, self-confidence and just being involved with such a great pro-social activity.”
The eight-week program, which started on Jan. 10, will run in conjunction with The Roster’s three Juniors’ Squash Programs for kids aged four to 17, continuing to run this year in a COVID friendly manner.
“I’m thrilled to be working with NOYFSS and the LeNoury family on this initiative that honours Rob,” Roster squash pro Pete Trafford said. “This program will help youth who otherwise may not have opportunity to participate, experience the great game of squash. I’m proud to be part of Rob’s legacy.”
To date, funds for the memorial program have been provided by family and subsidized by The Roster. If anyone is interested in contributing to this program in LeNoury’s memory, they may do so by contacting Katrina at 250-260-5946.
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