Ross Sawatzky was the big, gentle straight-talking President of the North Shore Country Club who teammates said was great to play doubles with and even better to play against because he was such a good competitor.
The respect in which he was held brought 50 players from 12 clubs in the northern suburbs to the inaugural Sawatzky Cup Tournament held in Whitfords in honour of his life, cut very short at age 48 from a rare blood disease.
Organised in the year since his death on the 5th of February last year, club member Norman Burns said,
“Rosco was a big fit strong guy, seemingly invincible and this thing just knocked him down like a skittle; it was a savage thing to happen.”
Players from all 12 clubs associated with the Northern Districts Tennis Association competed on Sunday January 31st in men’s and women’s doubles, raising money for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
“One of Ross’s tennis playing mates recently did a head shave for the Perkins and knew it was a good cause,” said Mr Burns.
The Premier’s COVID-19 lockdown announcement made in the middle of the Tournament put a clock on the afternoon’s games.
“We managed to get through all the games, finals, winner’s presentations and bit of drinking before the 6pm lockdown’” he said.
Ross Sawatzky is survived by his wife and two teenage daughters. The charity Sawatzky Cup Tournament will be held annually to support medical research.
WA’s Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research has more than 250 scientists investigating the major disease affecting the adult community. It owns a leading drug trials facility, Linear Clinical Research, giving patients who have exhausted all treatment options the chance to be on a trial of a drug being tested for the first time in the world.
Anyone wanting to donate can visit: https://community.perkins.org.au/fundraisers/normanburns