(1933 - 2016 )
Hall of Fame Induction: 2005
Fox Meadow Tennis Club. March 5, 2005
Childs mark on paddle started when he and his brother Bill started playing seriously after Bill was eligible for the Men’s 45+. Five years later they were racking up an impressive Senior record which included five-straight 55+ titles. Childs won thirteen Senior titles and served for five years on the APTA Board focusing on Senior activities. He also served eight years as a Trustee of the Platform Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Foundation.
David Childs’ mark on paddle started in 1980 when he and his brother Bill teamed up for the Men’s 45+. Five years later, they were racking up an impressive Senior record, which included five-straight 55+ titles. All totaled, Childs won 13 titles, spread across all the Senior events, including 11 of them with his brother. He did it with innate ability, determination, steadiness and a finely honed sense of competitiveness, combined with unquestionable sportsmanship, and unwavering friendliness both on and off the court. Both brothers later appeared in the “Faces In The Crowd” column of Sports Illustrated in the April 18, 1994 issue. Childs also served on the APTA Board, from 1996-2001, where his focus was on Senior activities, and spent eight years, from 2004-2012, as a Trustee of the Platform Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Foundation.
Childs began playing paddle on a regular basis when he moved to Farmington, CT, and joined the Field Club in the mid-1960s. His younger brother, Bill, would visit on some Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations, and they played as a team against local competition. They entered their first APTA sponsored tournament in 1973 in Manchester, VT, where Bill was then living. Their first “outing” was somewhat disastrous in that they lost their first match, but did end up winning the consolation. That curtailed their paddle ambitions for seven years until 1980, when Bill turned 45, and the two paired up again on the Senior paddle circuit. Starting with the 50+, where David and Bill were national champions in 1986 and 1987, and finalists in the National 45+s, the Childs’ brothers won one more at 50+ (1990), five 55+ (five in a row from 1990-1994), two 60+ (1995-1996), and one 65+ (2001). They were also finalists in the 55+ in 1998, in the 60+ in 1998 and 1999, in the 65+ in 2002, and in the 45+ in 2007. With new partner Bob Brown, Dave also won the 70+ and the 145+ in 2003 ( is this really supposed to be 145+?), and was a finalist in the 60+ in 1993, the 65+ in 1998, and the 145+ in 2004.
Off the court, Dave co-chaired three National Tournaments in the Greater Hartford area, including the 50+s, 60+s, the Senior Mixed and the Senior Husband/Wife. He also conducted clinics for more than 15 years, and traveled the paddle circuit. In the early 1980’s, Dave, his brother Bill, Bill Mimnaugh and Howie Sipe went off to Sun City West in Arizona to escape the cold and play in an annual event the retirement community had been holding for several years. They decided to find local players as partners and Dave was in the second set of the semi-finals against Howie and his partner when Dave’s partner quit to go to a ceramics class. David did come away with a “finalist” prize of a decorated pink felt pig that had been created by a lady in the local arts center.
Small>Source: Brook Kindred, Induction remarks
Obituary, published in The Hartford Courant March 9, 2016