Hall of Fame Induction: 2009
Canoe Brook Country Club, February 11, 2009
Edwina (“Winnie”) Worth Hatch was a 14-time National Senior Champion, and a finalist nine other times, putting her second on the list of women with senior championship titles.
Hatch and her partner, Sharon Hummers, dominated the women’s 50+ during the 1990s and, between 1992 and 2002, won seven championships, in 1992-1996, 1999 and 2001. They were also finalists in three other years (1997, 2000, 2002). When Hatch reached the 60+ level, the wins continued, with victories in 2002 and 2004, and second place finishes in 2003, 2005, and 2006. In the Mixed 50+, she won in 1993, 1996, and 1999, and in the Mixed 60+, she won in 2002 and 2004 and was a finalist in 2003, 2005, and 2006. A well-respected advocate for women’s paddle, Winnie was a member of the Women’s Players Committee, the governing body for women’s paddle, for more than 15 years, and she was a strong advocate for equal funding and visibility for women’s events, including the nationals and senior women’s events. She was on the 1999 Nationals committee and ran the Women’s President’s Cup.
Hatch not only dominated the Women’s 50+ National Championships in the early 1990s, she revived it when interest was waning. She moved the event to Long Island, convinced all their friends to play, and rebuilt it into a significant event. Even after others took over the helm, Winnie continued to feel responsible for the event and, in 2003, when the committee was having trouble recruiting someone to run the event, she again assumed responsibility, finding a sponsor and a place to hold the tournament. The Women’s 50+ is a successful and vibrant event thanks to her efforts.
A role model and mentor for a generation of women, including future champions Bobo Delaney, Tonia Mangan, Patty Hogan and Cindy Prendergast, Winnie was fiercely competitive, but always enjoyed playing and being around the game more than winning. She was a gracious champion and a wonderful ambassador for the sport who believed in fair play, and was not afraid to speak her mind about issues that concerned her. In particular, she was very frustrated with the lack of enforcement of the foot fault rule and, over the years, she pushed the APTA Board for better enforcement, wrote letters to Platform Tennis News and Platform Tennis Magazine, and worked to get roving line judges at national events.
For more than 30 years, Winnie also helped introduce many people to paddle, starting from her early days of playing at the Apple Club in New York City. She actively recruited women for paddle matches and interclub leagues, and was the “go-to” person for anyone interested in the game in Suffolk County and the Hamptons on Long Island, NY. Tournament directors knew that she was the one to call if they needed teams for an event. If she was available she would play, and if not, she would help recruit teams. She also ran clinics for adults and children. She truly exemplified the notion of giving back to the game.
Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Hatch grew up in the River Oaks section of Houston, TX, and spent every summer of her life in Bridgehampton, where her father was born and raised and remained a part-time resident until his death. She was a graduate of Northampton School for Girls in Massachusetts, and Marjorie Webster Junior College in Washington, D.C. She earned a certificate in physical education from the University of Oslo, Norway.
Source: Stephen W. Baird and Deirdre Redden, Induction remarks, and The Southampton Press, 11/18/2009