Eddie Fishkind of Bethpage received the vitas gerulaitis for the Love of Tennis Award recently at the 26th annual U.S. Tennis Association Long Island Region awards dinner. The Arthur Ashe Award is given to a tennis player who embraces diversity, serves as an ambassador for the game of tennis, exhibits unmatched sportsmanship and shares his or her love of the game with others.
Despite having polio and being paralyzed when he was 10, Fishkind was always in love with sports and, when he could, was out on a field. In his 20s, Fishkind discovered tennis and he fell in love the first time he stepped on a court. He took the sport seriously and became a student of the game.
Being a teacher, he spent summers working at camp, going from being a day camp director to running the boys tennis program at a sleep-away camp. He went on to coach a boys’ high school tennis team for 14 years and he then became the assistant tennis coach at Hofstra University.
For the past 30 summers, Fishkind has also been the co-director of the Hofstra Summer Tennis Camp with his wife, Sunny. Fishkind has volunteered at many of USTA Long Island events over the years, and can always be counted on to help when needed. For the past 25 years, he has volunteered in the USTA booth at the U.S. Open.