Tennis

Homage to the Man who took Canadian Tennis Global

BY CORKY CRAMER

PETER BURWASH – February 10, 1945 – 7 July 7, 2022)

The reality is I only spent a couple of months with Peter, yet I always refer to him as my first true mentor. Last we spoke, about a month ago, Peter shared he had been facing difficult medical challenges for a while and he was very aware things were not expected to get better. Yet true to his amazing spirit he continues to inspire me and so many others. In 1976 I was finishing up my junior year at Colorado State University when I responded to an ad looking for individuals to coach tennis at a five star resort and camp in Canada. In New York, in a bubbled court atop a parking garage I was interviewed by Peter Burwash, the 1971 Canadian Champion. Peter’s energetic. Pied Piper personality quickly sold me on the the opportunity to be one of the earliest members of what was to become the most successful tennis staffing organization around the world. At the end of my ’77 collegiate school year I loaded up my MGB and headed north to The Inn and Tennis Club at Manitou Wabing in Parry Sound. Over the summer I improved my game but more important I credit Peter as the person who taught me how to be a professional.

Recently I’ve reconnected with many of my Canadian students, coaching peers and, competitors. It’s easy to trace Peter’s direct and indirect influences on them. Through the domino effect those currently working in the industry should take a moment and raise a glass in his honour. I know the lessons I took on and off the court from Peter I passed on to the next generation and I can see they too are doing the same. I’m so confident Canadian tennis is in good hands in partially because of Peter.

Joe Dinoffer, former PBI VP of marketing and founder of On Court-Off Court leading retailer in racquet sports training tools: “I learned the networking skills from Peter: to be responsible means to respond.”

“I can categorically state, and without equivocation, that PBI is the best run tennis management company in the world. Because of their focus on customer service, treating people with honesty and integrity, doing what is right for their clients, hard work and dedication, PBI embodies all of the values that you would want in a corporate partner for a first class venture.”

On PBI (currently the organization has location in over 25 countries.) John Embree, CEO / Executive Director, USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association)

PBI made it’s mark by staffing five star resorts, but Peter first and foremost recognized how the sport could be a conduit for joy and achievement. More than anyone I’ve known he understood how to best use his tennis experiences to better lives. He published over a dozen books on human psychology including “Tennis for life”  “ The Key to Great Leadership”  and “Dear Teenager,  If You Only Knew”.  He was a pioneer and advocated the need for wheel chair tennis, coordinating over 450 events. He introduced the game to many incarcerated individuals beginning with inmates at San Quentin. 

Besides his passion for the game of tennis Peter spiritual beliefs brought him to follow a life based upon Krishna Consciousness.  “ He demonstrated that one can be tremendously successful in the world, all the while being dedicated to spiritual values and ethical principles. The world needs more people like Peter Burwash,” said Anuttama Dasa. 

Not just Canadians but around the globe people are celebrating your life. Thank you for all your gifts. 

Rest in Peace !

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