AFTER being involved in the sport of tennis for over three decades, Dave Patrick passed away last week Thursday.
The 67-year-old will be laid to rest at 2pm today at the Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Freeling Street, Tunapuna.
Patrick began coaching alongside former national champion Lennox Francis in the early 1990s at Endridge Tennis Courts, Pointe-a-Pierre, and the neighbouring Petrotrin Sports Club at Guaracara Park.
The two pioneered the “soft ball” technique by letting the air out of tennis balls to make it easier for youngsters to learn the game.
However, not long after Patrick, who lived a stone’s throw from the Tunapuna market, started plying his trade close to home – at Honeymoon Park and Chetwynd Tennis Club in Tunapuna.
The former secretary of the Tennis Coaching Association reunited with Francis when the National Racquet Centre opened and spent the last couple years of his life coaching at the Tacarigua venue.
Patrick, the vice-president of the National Tennis Centre Club, was always interested in coaching and attended every seminar hosted by the BP Staff Club Association in Guayaguayare when Robert Valentine was the first president of the Tennis Association of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) in the 1980s.
He was recently the east zone vice-president of TATT as well as a member of their selection committee and a participant in the Ministry of Sport school tennis coaching programme along the east/west corridor.
Patrick also served as tournament director for several competitions, including for around the last decade in the country’s leading national junior tournament — Catch National Junior Championships.
Many of his students competed in tournaments over the years, but his star pupil was his nephew Nkrumah Patrick, the 22-year-old United States university student who participated in the last two trials for a place on the Davis Cup team.