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  • Writer's picturemrjaimetorres

Remembering Wayne Toyne

On January 6th, we lost a dear friend and pillar of the racquetball community. Wayne Toyne's passing came not as a shock, but still dealt a blow to everyone that knew him. A piece of us died with Wayne, but his legacy and impact will live on with everyone that remembers him. We saw the racquetball community's outpouring of memories, grief, and resolve after we lost our friend. Every person who met him is better for it. His body of work, his contributions, and all he poured into racquetball is why it was such an honor and a privilege to serve on the board that inducted him into the hall of fame on November 25th, 2019.

In memory of Wayne, this was the letter submitted by Malia Bailey nominating him for induction into the CVRA Hall of Fame:

It is my honor and privilege to nominate Wayne Toyne as a candidate for the CVRA Hall of Fame as a contributor.

The year was 1982, at the ripe young age of 40, Wayne Toyne began playing racquetball at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC. He became infected by the racquetball bug and has never recovered. Wayne decided to try a tournament a year later at the Security Court Club in Baltimore, MD. Wayne was all in, he began volunteering to help run tournaments whenever possible, while assisting and running clinics to help promote the sport and help others achieve their goals. In 1989, Wayne obtained a job as racquetball instructor and programmer at the Mt. Vernon Health and Racquet Club where he continued there until 2005. While there, he brought in many professionals to promote the sport he loved, these included such professionals as Fran Davis, Lynn Adams, Derek Robinson, Christie Van Hees and others.

During tournaments, as a player and running events, he would happily help others during there matches. Players of all levels respect Wayne’s knowledge of the game and do not hesitate asking him for help.

Wayne credits several people who had major influences: Larry Boswell for encouraging him to teach and run tournaments, Ed Willis for including him as part of team Willis which allowed him to play tournaments more often than could have otherwise, Curtis Allitore Martin for teaching him how to play tournaments, and Gary Mazaroff for showing him a lasting devotion to the sport.

In addition to instructing racquetball and assisting in the organization of tournaments, Wayne served as a 2 term president for the CVRA. While president, he maintained a close relationship with Kevin Joyce and the national office establishing a central record for the USRA of state finances memberships. Please understand not an easy feat because it was pre-computers. He was essential in organizing and scheduling clinics, tournaments, and racquetball activities throughout the state of Virginia. Wayne did not just think of one area of the state, but took into consideration the entire state. Wayne was also an integral part of bringing the LPRT back to northern Virginia years ago. He has a passion for growing racquetball in all areas particularly with women’s racquetball. It is very important to him that we grow the sport for women in racquetball.

As a 26 year Air Force veteran, he helped establish the Wounded Warriors program in Northern Virginia and continues working with veterans at Bolling AFB. Where he first learned to play.

Wayne has been a great encourager, promoter and teacher throughout his racquetball career for over 35 years. He is a lifetime IPRO certified instructor at the professional level, he is also a lifetime member of the USAR. Wayne still enjoys competing in local, national and international tournaments. He has earned numerous medals and at over 70 years young, his humility, love of the game and service is second to none. He deserves this special honor. Let’s thank Wayne Toyne for going above and beyond serving us in racquetball and also serving our country as an Air Force veteran.

It should come as no surprise his induction was unanimous.

We will miss you Wayne.

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