The United States Tennis Association’s Eastern Chapter (USTA) recently recognized Hofstra Summer Camps Tennis Coach Sunny Fishkind as the 2018 Woman of the Year.
Presented annually, this honor is awarded to a female USTA Eastern volunteer in recognition of outstanding service in the tennis community.
Fishkind has been teaching children the fundamentals of tennis and helping them to refine their skills for 34 years. Campers are taught respect, responsibility, and teamwork in fun and engaging ways. Fishkind’s only question at the end of a long summer day is, ‘Was today fun?’
“That’s the most important thing – fun,” sand Fishkind, who has been a fixture in tennis world for more than 50 years. “Win or lose, it’s a game…“Tennis defines me. I feel as if I get more out of the sport than I give to it.”
She previously served as the Bethpage High School boys’ varsity coach from 1979-1990 and the girls’ varsity tennis coach from 1979-2005. She was also the coordinator of girl’s tennis for all Nassau County high schools for 12 years and is a former assistant men’s and women’s tennis coach at Hofstra University. Fishkind continues to be a multifaceted member of the community today as both vice president of the USTA Eastern chapter and co-director of Hofstra Summer Camps’ tennis program alongside her husband, Eddie.
Throughout her time at Hofstra, Fishkind has touched the lives of hundreds of camp goers. Among those is Lena Diller, a 17-year veteran of the tennis program and former collegiate-level player at Union College in Schenectady, NY. What started out as a typical summer camp experience quickly turned into a love for the game and lifelong friendship with Fishkind.
“Sunny always made tennis fun, regardless of your skill level,” said Diller, who is now a camp counselor working with Fishkind. “And she would do more than just observe and bark orders. She’d physically show you how to improve. I came back to camp year after year because I enjoyed learning from her.”
Fishkind was honored in White Plains on January 26, 2019. She was in the company of close friends and family, but support for her extended far beyond. Hofstra Summer Camps Director Terry Ryan, who has worked alongside Fishkind for almost 20 years, applauds the camp co-director for consistently enhancing the camp experience.
“Sunny has been at Hofstra Summer Camps since its inception and continues to bring enthusiasm and a love of children to camp each and every day,” said Ryan. “She makes Hofstra Summer Camps a special place.”