Tennis advocate of the Year: Robert Walsh
By Kent Oswald
If any individual can blow up the stereotype of the “workaholic,” that would be Robert Walsh, Tennis Industry’s Tennis Advocate of the Year. Maybe “advocate” isn’t a strong enough word?
“My wife says tennis is my first love and she’s the second. But it’s not true,” Walsh insists. He confesses to being a “voluntaholic” after retirement in 1988 from corporate finance and computers, when he decided to play a little more tennis. “There were some needs there, and I just fell in love with all the things I was doing,” he says.
A few highlights: Walsh has served on numerous USTA Northern California committees; served as a league coordinator for seniors for over 20 years; was a liaison to USTA adult league staff; and created league and tournament opportunities for men and women who wish to compete in their 70s and 80s. For 10-plus years he was president of the Napa Valley Tennis Association, a tenure that included providing financial support to local juniors and working with the Parks & Rec and school district to create 11 new courts, then raising $125,000 to support them.
At age 88, and still consulting for small businesses, he tries to play at least once a week, although a horseback riding accident has caught up with him. But, he admits, “There’s something about the game. It’s good for mental health and it keeps people much fitter than if they just sit around.”
As if that was something he really had to worry about. — Kent Oswald
Tips For Success
- Look around. There’s something that needs doing.
- Don’t worry about the credit when you help others.
- Do what you enjoy, do it well and the credit will follow.
See all articles by Kent Oswald
About the Author
Kent Oswald is a contributor to TennisNow.com, producer at the JockBookReview.com and a former editor of Tennis Week magazine.