2022 Mentor Coach

Nicole Pirko


  • Provide women intern coaches with ongoing mentorship from a qualified mentor coach, with a national or international coaching development opportunity, and enhanced professional development and learning opportunities
  • Connect all participating women intern and mentor coaches in an ongoing supportive network
  • Increase the number of high performance women coaches in Commonwealth sport in Canada

Mentor Coach: Nicole Pirko

As a mentor, I have the opportunity to help guide another woman coach, to share my experiences, and to help her reach her personal coaching goals.”

Sport: Squash

Occupation: Nicole is the Head Squash Professional at the Pickering Squash Club in Pickering, Ont.

Intern Coach: Giselle Delgado

Sport: Squash

Athletic History: Nicole, who grew up in Pickering and now resides in nearby Whitby, Ont., started playing squash at the age of seven at the Pickering Squash Club. With hard work and perseverance, she quickly rose to be ranked number two in Canada for most of her junior career. Representing Ontario, she won gold at the 1994 provincial championship and the 1995 Canada Winter Games. Representing Canada, she was a finalist at the US Junior Open championships and the Australian Junior Open championships. Other competitions as a junior player include the British Open and the Scottish Open.

Nicole graduated from the McMaster University in 2001 with an honours degree in kinesiology. While there, she was a dominant figure on the squash court at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) level and was a conference all-star in each of her four seasons. She made McMaster history by winning the school’s first women’s squash gold medal at the OUA championships in 1999 and added the bronze medal in 1998 and 2001. A three-time captain of her varsity team, Nicole was named as her team’s Most Valuable Player and represented Canada at the 2000 World Universiade where the squash team brought home the silver medal. She was a finalist for McMaster’s Athlete of the Year Award in 1999 and the Dr. Edna Guest Award for outstanding graduate athlete in 2001. In 2019 Nicole was inducted into the McMaster University Sports Hall of Fame.

Why A Coaching Career? Some of the reasons Nicole loves being a coach and chose a coaching career is because it gives her the opportunity to introduce her sport of squash to new people and share her love for the game. She finds it rewarding to be able to help her athletes improve their performance, increase their confidence, and reach their personal goals. She loves the healthy, fun, and enthusiastic environment that surrounds her every time she goes to work and feels very fortunate to have found a career she is so passionate about.

Coaching History: Nicole, a Level 3 National Coaching Certification Program coach, has 20 years of coaching experience working with players at all levels, including entry, recreational, provincial, and national. Provincially she has coached high-performance athletes in team training camps, clinics, and tournaments, and as individuals. She was Team Ontario women’s coach at the 2007 and 2011 Canada Winter Games. Passionate about squash, she works hard to grow the sport at the club and high-performance levels. Nicole has been named Women’s Team Coach/Manager at the 2022 Pan American Senior Games in Guatemala.

Importance of the CSC WCIP to Nicole: As a player and a coach, squash has always been Nicole’s passion. From a very young age, playing squash taught her how to work hard, how to set goals, to be determined, how to win and, of course, how to lose. “We learn so many life lessons through sport that shape lives in many positive ways.” She feels very fortunate to have had guidance from many role models and coaches throughout her career. Now, as a mentor, she has the opportunity to help guide another woman coach, to share her experiences, and to help her reach her personal coaching goals.

Importance of the CSC WCIP for Giselle: “Giselle is a very skilled and talented top-ranked squash player who is at the start of her coaching career. She is looking for opportunities to gain experience and to raise her coaching profile. The CSC WCIP is perfect for her because it will give her the coaching experience that will, in turn, qualify her for coaching roles and opportunities in the future.”