Honoured Member Kenneth Sinclair, January 14, 1930-April 3, 2018
It is with great regret that we announce the passing of one of the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame’s Honoured Members, Ken Sinclair.
Kenneth Donald Sinclair was born in Toronto on January 14th, 1930. He is recognized as a builder and contributor in the sport of tennis in Aurora and Canada and as being an exceptional volunteer, entrepreneur, business man and visionary. Ken and wife Betty were married on September 20, 1952 and they have seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Ken became a member of the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club in 1958 and he began playing league tennis. Ken volunteered his time and energy to contribute to the sport of tennis because he was not only a visionary, but knew how to follow through and make his plans and dreams a reality. In his late 20’s he stepped up onto the international scene with a drive to win and he attended championships all over the world.
As a tennis player, Ken and Ralph Ander brought together partners to introduce and finance and the first tennis bubble in Canada after seeing them in Sweden. The bubble was erected in 1968 at the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club. Ken raised money and found supporters to fund it and the enterprise proved to be successful. Tennis bubbles began to spring up all over Canada. Ken served on the board of the Club from 1971 to 1975, serving as President in 1973 and 1974.
For 35 years Ken was involved with the Ontario Tennis Association, chairing many tennis events. He brought Provincial and National Tennis Championships to the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling Club and he was instrumental in the success of the Canadian Open, now the Rogers Cup, working tirelessly as chairman from 1969 – 1983.
At first, the Canadian Open alternated between two venues; the Toronto Cricket Club and the Toronto Lawn Tennis club until Ken initiated the building and negotiation of a long term lease with York University. Ken’s dream was to have a Tennis venue that would attract international professional players and further the growing sport in Canada. The Canadian Open moved to York University’s Rexall stadium in 1976.
In 1985 Ken chaired the tennis competitions of the Master Games.
Mr Sinclair founded and built what was then known as Timberlane Tennis and Country Club. Ken and his wife, Betty moved to Aurora in 1985 while the club was being built. Timberlane Athletic Club opened in 1987 and became the venue for many provincial and international tennis events over the years. Ken initiated the Jarry Park tennis facility in Montreal. He co-founded and operated a tennis academy in London, Ontario; the All-Canadian Academy that trained elite junior players, some of which went on to fame. At both Timberlane and the All-Canadian Academy facilities, Sinclair hired long-time friend and tennis partner, Lorne Main as a teaching professional. As players, Ken and Lorne still hold more international championships than any other Canadian, not only in tennis, but in any other sport.
With Betty’s unfailing support, encouragement from his father, Donald, and the friendship of his tennis partner Lorne Main, Ken enjoyed many years of fulfillment not only as an athlete, but as someone who helped to shape the face of tennis in Canada. In 1989 he was awarded Honorary Life Membership to the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling club in appreciation for his outstanding service to the Club and was inducted to their ‘Tennis Wall of Fame’ in 2001.
In recognition of his contribution as a builder in the sport of Tennis, Ken was inducted into Canada’s Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the Ontario Tennis Association’s Distinguished Service award in 2003. In May, 2007 a tribute dinner was held at the Toronto Cricket, Skating & Curling club in honour of long time tennis partners Lorne Main and Ken Sinclair.
Kenneth Sinclair was welcomed into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 class of Inductees as a Builder/Contributor that included fellow Builder/ Contributor, Alan Dean and Athlete, Mark Heese.
His obituary can be seen at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/aurora-on/kenneth-sinclair-7812106 and it includes a long and storied past of commitment as a player, coach, mentor and builder of the sport of tennis in Canada.
Our condolences are sent to his devoted wife Betty, his family, colleagues, friends and the entire tennis community of Canada, who mourn his loss.