Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Gallery: British tennis stars including Laura Robson ensure Elena Baltacha’s legacy lives on

10:56 19 May 2014

Nino Severino is organising a tribute day, ahead of Elena Baltacha

Nino Severino is organising a tribute day, ahead of Elena Baltacha's funeral, at Rushmere Sports Centre. Laura Robson at the day.

Leading figures in British tennis gathered at a Suffolk sports centre yesterday to pay tribute to Elena Baltacha and the sporting legacy she worked so selflessly to create.

Dozens of children who had been coached and inspired by the former British number one took part in training sessions led by Federation Cup team captain Judy Murray and Iain Bates, head of British women’s tennis, and Olympic medalist Laura Robson.

Held at the Rushmere Sports Centre, where the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT) introduced hundreds of young players to the game, yesterday’s event was described as a “special legacy for a special person”.

The event, organised by Ms Baltacha’s husband Nino Severino in advance of her funeral today, was also attended by Davis Cup captain Leon Smith and former top 50 ranked player Anne Keothavong, a friend and rival of the Ipswich-based player, known by all as Bally.

Ms Murray, the mother of Andy Murray, who coached Ms Baltacha as a junior player, said the event’s success was testimony to her popular reputation.

“I think today has shown now much everybody thought of her, loved her and admired her,” she said.

“For all of us the important thing is to ensure that the academy survives and thrives and that it leaves a very special legacy for a very special person.”

Mr Bates was also encouraged by those who turned out at the event to pay their respects.

“It’s been an absolutely fantastic day,” he said. “We’ve got a whole group of kids who were inspired by Bally to take up tennis and they’re all here having fun with some great training exercises.

“There were so many people who were close to Bally during her life and everyone is giving something back to the sport, which is great to see.”

Ms Baltacha’s death from liver cancer on Sunday, May 4, at the age of 30, was met with an outpouring of grief from across the tennis world and beyond.

Eleanor Preston, Ms Baltacha’s manager and friend, said the response had been “incredibly touching and moving”.

“This is all about the British tennis 
community, the people who were in her life, professionally and personally, pulling together to continue the work that 
she started at the academy,” she said.

“It’s about helping to build her legacy and to remain true to her original idea to help kids from all background play tennis and have their lives enriched by sport.”

The fundraising appeal in Ms Baltacha’s memory has raised almost £30,000 for the EBAT and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

To donate to the cause visit the Just Giving site.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Holywells Park won a Civic Voice award

Holywells Park in Ipswich was one of just 11 renovation projects to scoop a national award today.

St Margarets Street, Ipswich, from Majors Corner, in the 1930s

From the Dock, now known as The Waterfront, to the streets in and around the town centre, we see many changes in Ipswich town centre.

The Suffolk Show 2015 - 
The grand parade.

The Suffolk Show has been a regular fixture on the calendars of generations of families and as this year’s event approaches, we thought we would test your knowledge of shows past and present.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Mainline train services running through Manningtree experienced delays of up to 25 minutes this evening.

Picture: Ian Burt

A man has reported being seriously sexually assaulted in Ipswich over the weekend.

Port of Felistowe. Picture: Mike Page

Suffolk police were called to a crash involving a HGV and a car at Gate 1 of the Port of Felixstowe this afternoon.

A cordon around the Inkerman pub in Norwich Road, Ipswich following the assault

A man has been charged with grievous bodily harm after a 63-year-old received serious head injuries during an early morning assault outside an Ipswich pub.

Pet Idol Winner Melanie Wakefield with Doug the dog.

He’s beaten all the competition to come out as top dog in our Pet Idol competition – it’s Doug the Jug.

Hollesley Bay

A prisoner from Hollesley Bay open prison who failed to return following a period of home leave has handed himself in, police have said.

Emergency services are at the scene. Stock image.

Emergency services were called to a head-on crash in Ixworth Thorpe earlier this afternoon.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24