Squash on Fire's hardcore team of coaches is dedicated
to developing DC into a squash powerhouse.
Ronny Vlassaks
Omar El-Melligy
Karan Malik
Pascal Lienard
Jonathan Lam
Will Hopton
Heba El Torky
Ronny Vlassaks
Director of Squash

Ronny, who has recently moved to DC from Belgium, has been a fixture in the International Squash community for over 30 years. After training as a coach professionally in England, Vlassaks became the National Junior Coach for both the Netherlands and Belgium where he grew his passion for developing players. Vlassaks has traveled the world developing and expanding squash programs, training fellow coaches, and many of the current top Junior players, before landing in the United States as Squash On Fire’s Director of Squash. In addition to his role at Squash On Fire, Vlassaks continues to serve as the individual coach to some of the world’s top squash talent, including Simon Rösner (current World #5) and the Gilis sisters (ranked World #33 and #47), as well as to promote the game of squash as a member of the World Squash Federation Ambassadors Program.

As Director of Squash, Ronny will be developing and rolling out squash programming for all levels and ages, as well as creating a Professional Performance Academy to train national and international players, and prepare them for competitive tournaments.

Train with Ronny

Omar El-Melligy
Coach

Omar El-Melligy, a longtime squash player, has been coaching professionally for nearly 20 years. Most recently he coached at River Dale School, Brunswick School, Bronxville School and Pyramid Squash Club in New York. Prior to moving to the United States, Omar coached national and world champion players in Egypt and India. He has worked under several Egyptian National Team head coaches, honing his coaching techniques. He brings his love and knowledge of the sport to Squash on Fire.

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Karan Malik
Coach

Karan Malik is one of the top ranked Indian national players, and was a former U-17 junior national champion before moving to the United States. He recently graduated with a degree in Economics from Trinity College, where he was recruited to play for the Trinity Men’s Squash team. During his time at Trinity, Karan's team won 2 National Championships. Karan played as high as #1 on the ladder and, in his senior year, captained the team to their 15th National Title. He was also named to the All-American Team and All-Nescac Team twice. Karan spent a year working as the Assistant Coach at Lifetime Athletic Westchester where he worked with both juniors and adults to develop their squash games.

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Pascal Lienard
Coach

Pascal Lienard has been a part of the DC squash community for more than 20 years. He has trained with a wide range of players – from beginners to some of the world's top-ranked professionals. Pascal's natural athleticism and experience as a runner and swimmer shapes the way he approaches the game. Pascal plays, trains and coaches players to be disciplined and stick to the fundamentals.

He is recognized for his allegiance to the "T," volleys, beautiful lobs and endless stamina. His genuine love for squash gives him the excitement and energy to work with squash students of all abilities. If you have the chance, ask him about French food.

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Jonathan Lam
Coach

Jonathan Lam is a highly experienced squash professional and sports psychologist. Jonathan has been involved in the game of squash since he was ten years old. Before migrating to the U.S., he represented Malaysia on its national junior team and has competed in various international competitions. Jonathan was recruited to play varsity squash at Stony Brook University.

He holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and runs a full-time practice in addition to teaching squash. Jonathan's specialty areas in psychology include forensics and working with young adults going through life transitions.

Jonathan currently coaches at Squash on Fire in DC. Previously, he was the head squash professional at the Chevy Chase Athletic Club and the Tenley Sport and Health Club for many years. Jonathan won multiple Premier League titles while representing Chevy Chase. He was also the Girls' Varsity Squash coach at the Potomac School in McLean for several seasons.

In recent years, Jonathan has been focused on developing junior players, as well as teaching players who are brand new to the game.

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Will Hopton
Executive Director

Will is from London, England and racquet sports have played a huge part in his life. After graduating from the University of Bristol he spent four years coaching rackets and squash based at the Racquet Club of Chicago. During that time he had a number of successes competing professional in rackets. Will was the World Doubles champion from 2013-2015 and won more than 40 tournaments on the pro tour including the US and British Opens while attaining a career high ranking of #2 in the world. Most recently, Will spent three and half years directing marketing and serving on the executive team at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park, MD. He served as tournament director for top-tier USTA and ITF events in addition to being at the helm for many of JTCC’s fundraising initiatives. He brings with him extensive marketing, sales and events experience and is very excited to be overseeing the continued development and growth of Squash On Fire.

Will Hopton

Heba El Torky
Premiere Coach

Heba El Torky is one of the top female players coaching in the U.S. Heba has won 11 Professional Squash Association Tour titles and ranked as high as 19th in the world. As a junior player, she won the British Junior Open four times as well as claiming the German, Pioneer, and Dutch Junior Open titles. She was on the National Egyptian Squash Team from 2002 to 2018 and was the youngest member of the first Egyptian National Team to win the Women’s World Team Championships. She was the recipient of the Egyptian Sports Award, the country’s highest sports award. Heba has a degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Alexandria University. She moved to the USA in 2017 and has been coaching in and around the Washington D.C. region.

Train with Heba