When Simon first took over the club, he said that they embraced the concept of “we are more than just tennis.” While the physical facility obviously offers more than just tennis, the saying comes from what the facility does for your life! “We are in the life-changing business and use tennis and other activities as the vehicle for change. I have seen it first hand for over 25 years. The sport impacts people in a unique way that improves their lives. This is important to understand because once you get started and set foot on that tennis court, there is no turning back……you get hooked.”
When asked what is it like to work in a club that seriously embraces community partnership and activism Simon said that is something he learned working at Yonkers Tennis Center. “I saw how much “giving back” can help the local community. We are fortunate to have a facility like Taconic Sport and Racquet here in Dutchess County, it can enhance people’s lives, not just the lesson taker or USTA player, but more importantly the young person who is discovering what they are interested in. When you come to a place that embraces kids and wants to give them the best experience possible, the outcome is normally very positive. We have the ability to change the path a child may be headed down because the sport of tennis requires so many great character traits.”
Simon said that his family are his heroes. “My parents have always been heroes of mine, my father’s work ethic, and passion for people is something I have always admired. My Mothers ability to overcome obstacles in her life and maintain a positive outlook is amazing. I think I have adopted many of the traits I respect in them so much and try to emulate many of their qualities every day. The biggest influence on my life has been my daughter; she has changed the way I view “problems” in my life and gives me perspective. Her ability to say “ no worries Dad” and wake up with a smile every day is inspiring.”
When Simon is not at TSR, he loves golf! He really enjoys trying to beat his best score at a course and the mental ability required to be good at it is the greatest challenge. Simon has played since he was a kid. “My grandmother gave me a cut-down set and a St. Andrews hat, and I never put them down. I like to snowboard in the winters (but have not done much of it in recent years) and in the summer time sitting around a fire pit listening to Australian music is a great way to end the day.” Simon favorite movie is probably “Shawshank Redemption”.