Many of us have played the tournament named after him, but who is Peter Deacon?

Peter Deacon was a giant in the world of sports promotion. Up until 1996, he was a household name in the world of squash, triathlon and thoroughbred racing. From the early-80s to the mid-90s, Peter conducted over 675 international, national, state and regional events.

He was also a racquet sport aficionado. A former world and Australian squash doubles champion, he partnered former world no.1s Jahangir Khan and Heather McKay. His greatest honour and joy was to partner Heather in her final open match before retirement, and the sporting history books tell the story of the pair having won the 1988 Bicentennial Australian Championships.

Not content with just squash, Peter moved over to tennis in the mid-1990s. He didn’t have the same tennis aspirations; he was content to get his game to A grade standard.

Peter’s interest in sports administration followed, and after a brief sojourn on the Tennis Sydney committee he was elected as the livelier Hon Secretary. Tennis Sydney Inc (as it was then known) began taken great strides, quadrupling its membership base, acquiring a healthy bank balance, and becoming instrumental in achieving major sponsorships to promote gay and lesbian tennis in a most positive manner.

Peter generated enthusiasm and believed nothing was impossible if the committee worked together for a common goal.

Peter didn’t think in small numbers. His energy and efforts were never satisfied until his goals were achieved. Tennis Sydney is indebted to Peter for transforming the club from a small social group into a thriving organisation for gay and lesbian tennis players which continues to grow today.

 

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