All of the 2016 Distinguished Service Awards have now been handed out, celebrating the incredible and unique contributions of special individuals to the sport of tennis in Canada. The highest award handed out each year by Tennis Canada, eight people received DSAs this year:
Ron Ghitter and Glen Scott, Alberta
Both Ron Ghitter and Glen Scott played instrumental roles in the development of the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre, a state-of-the-art new tennis facility in Calgary that opened in June of this year. They serve as Chair and Vice-Chair of the centre’s board.
Ghitter is a former board member of Tennis Canada and has been passionate about tennis for decades, from his playing days as a junior and at university to becoming a tennis instructor, competing as an adult, and his work in growing the game across Alberta and Canada. Ghitter oversaw the development of the Alberta Tennis Centre from its inception, including raising the funds needed to complete the project. He also made a considerable contribution himself as well, with the centre’s five outdoor courts being named after him.
Scott has also been an active member of the Calgary tennis community for many years. He served as a board member and president of Tennis Alberta, and played a significant role in bringing the Calgary Futures professional tournament to the Calgary Tennis Club. Alongside Ghitter, he secured the land for the Alberta Tennis Centre, negotiating a lease with the City of Calgary. He also assisted in raising over $7 million in personal donations for the facility.
Holly Tawse, British Columbia
Holly Tawse is extremely passionate about growing the game of wheelchair tennis in British Columbia, and through her work with the BC Wheelchair Sports Association, participation and funding for the sport has risen. She has acted as tournament director for numerous events and created a Run & Roll tournament to increase community awareness of wheelchair tennis. She also developed Canada’s first junior wheelchair tennis camp and assisted in the development of a high performance program in BC. Tirelessly working towards improving the lives of Canadians through sport, she advocates for the inclusion of wheelchair tennis in other events, and her spirit is contagious.
Albert Fong, Ontario
Albert Fong is the community champion for the Little Aces tennis program in Mississauga, which is a Tennis Canada youth program aimed at offering an entry level pathway to tennis. In 2012, he proactively started a wheelchair tennis youth program, recruiting kids with physical disabilities to give wheelchair tennis a try. This program, now in its fourth year, is still going strong, providing many families an outlet for their kids’ needs and desire to play sports in an encouraging environment. Fong has blazed a trail for other tennis communities in Canada to replicate his model and has shown that tennis is a sport that can be played by participants of all ages, levels of proficiency and physical abilities.
Jan Heck, Ontario
On behalf of Miele, Heck has shown endless support for tennis in Canada through 15 years of sponsorship which has helped grow the sport both at the grassroots and high performance levels. Over the years, Miele has sponsored Rogers Cup, Davis Cup and Fed Cup as well as being an early investor in the Aviva Centre’s infrastructure. Expanding outside professional tennis, in 2008 Miele helped create a national league program and continues to be a proud supporter of some of the country’s leading leagues. Miele also supports the senior and junior tennis circuits across Canada.
Dr. Robert Gordon, Ontario
A world renowned orthopedic surgeon in Toronto, Dr. Robert Gordon has been the tournament doctor at Rogers Cup presented by National Bank since 1990. This volunteer position has allowed Dr. Gordon to use his skills as a sports medicine specialist to the benefit of many international tennis players for almost three decades. He has also represented Tennis Canada and Rogers Cup internationally with the ATP at annual medical conferences. More recently, Dr. Gordon has been mentoring a new wave of doctors to take over his role while he stays involved with the overall Rogers Cup program and with the ATP international medical council.
Beverley and John Moore, Ontario
Beverley and John Moore have operated the Lakeshore Tennis Club for five years, growing it into a flourishing community in Barry’s Bay, Ontario. Increasing membership from 20 to over 200 players, the club has hosted more than 15 tournaments in the last two years and initiated week-long youth tennis camps in the summers. They have been active members of the Barry’s Bay community, using the National Bank On the Ball program to donate used tennis balls to elementary schools and supporting Communities in Bloom. In addition, they have raised money towards replacing the courts and creating an even better environment for their members. The Moores truly have brought people together in their community and promoted healthy living through tennis.