The ITF is saddened to hear that 2014 Brad Parks Award recipient Stig Ericson passed away on Thursday, 8 May after a long illness.
Ericson played a major role in the development of wheelchair tennis in his home nation of Sweden as an administrator, coach and ambassador for the sport. He was involved in the early years of the sport internationally and his tennis background and experience provided considerable insight to help the development of wheelchair tennis around the world.
Ericson was a member of the International Wheelchair Tennis Federation (IWTF) and International Wheelchair Tennis Association (IWTA) committees from 1991, serving as Vice President of the IWTA and a member of the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Committee from 1998 to 2009 after wheelchair tennis was fully integrated into the ITF on 1 January 1998. From 1974 Ericson was also a member of numerous committees and organisations at the Swedish Tennis Association.
Ericson was greatly respected by players, administrators and colleagues alike for his outstanding contribution to the sport and was instrumental in Stockholm becoming the host city of the 2007 World Team Cup. He had previously been the tournament director of the Bastad Open between 1992 and 1993, the referee of the Swedish Open between 1995 and 1999 and was chairman of the World Team Cup Committee from 1994-2002.
“Stig Ericson played a major role in the development of wheelchair tennis not only in Sweden but around the world,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti at the time Ericson received the Brad Parks Award.
“His outstanding contributions for many years both on a professional and personal level and his role in the sport through the IWTF and IWTA as Vice President along with his long service meant the Board had no hesitation in granting this award. We are indebted to Stig for his dedication to the advancement of wheelchair tennis.”
“It has been a privilege knowing Stig over the years and I greatly appreciate all he has contributed to the sport; wheelchair tennis is better because of him. I had so much fun seeing him in London at the Paralympics and was so glad he was there.” said Brad Parks, the founder of wheelchair tennis in 1976, after whom the award is named.
Ericsson was also one of 13 recipients of the Services to the Game approved at the 2011 ITF AGM in Bangkok, Thailand and received his award at the Swedish Tennis Association's Annual General Meeting in April 2012. Also in 2012 he was a member of the ITF Jury of Appeal at the London 2012 Paralympics Games.