Sport: Racquet Sports
Year Inducted: 2002
Samir Bhatnagar is an Ottawa police sergeant who is an expert when it comes to racquets. In fact, for many years he was a big player in the racquets. That, of course, is racquets as in racquet sports.
Samir, who was born in France and raised in Cornwall, excelled in tennis and squash, blossoming into one of the premier players in Eastern Ontario in both sports. He dominated men’s junior tennis in Cornwall like nobody before him, or since. Samir claimed his eighth consecutive Cornwall Junior Tennis Championship at age 16.
His tennis court successes weren’t limited to Cornwall. In 1983, be became the Ontario Tennis Champion. He has the distinction of beating the famous Matthew Perry in the final.
In 1984, 14-year-old Samir was a member of the Eastern Ontario team which won an Ontario team title. Samir was ranked the number one 14-year-old male player in Eastern Ontario. Other junior tennis titles included High School regional play and tournaments throughout Eastern Ontario.
Hard to believe, but tennis does not rank as his favourite sport. He puts squash ahead of tennis on his list of favourite activities. And, he had a pretty good go at it.
As a teenager, he blossomed into one of the area’s best squash players in an era when the region had some of the best talent in Eastern Ontario. He continued to dominate the squash courts while a student at Trent University in Peterborough.
As a member of the Ottawa-Carleton Police Service, Bhatnagar won a bronze medal in squash at the World Police Games in Calgary in 1997.
At the International Law Enforcement Games held in Ottawa during August 2002, he won the gold medal in squash, and a bronze medal in badminton.