Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 7°C

Search

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.

shares

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.

shares

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

The new Ipswich police headquarters from insurance company offices in Civic Drive in July 1968

In the summer of 1968 the Ipswich Police Station moved from under the Town Hall to a new building at the junction of Civic Drive and Elm Street. 
Last June work started to demolish this landmark building and the site is now being converted to a temporary surface car park.

Ipswich is to have two Poundland stores on opposite sides of Carr Street.

A third Poundland store is to open in Ipswich town centre at the weekend.

Beautiful May morning on the seafront at Felixstowe. 
Galley 
Weather

Parts of Suffolk are expected to be hotter than the Spanish island of Ibiza this weekend, with temperatures set to rise to 22 degrees Celsius.

The Middy in the war years event at Mid Suffolk Light Railway at Wetheringsett.

A large number of visitors attended a Suffolk heritage railway’s annual 1940s event during the Bank Holiday weekend.

Ipswich Town Hall.

District councils in Suffolk and north Essex spent more than £20million on redundancy packages over a five-year period, with some departing staff receiving six-figure payouts, an investigation has found.

Mulberry Tree owner Des Scicluna who has been having problems with N Power for the last four years.

A frustrated pub landlord has taken action after an energy supplier pursued him for unpaid bills for more than four years – despite the firm never having supplied gas or electricity to the establishment.

Return of a duck family to Holbrook Academy. Students are excited to see them develop. Teacher Frank Anstee-Parry introducing some students to the chicks.

A Suffolk school has welcomed the return of one of its most popular guests – a doting duck and its adorable ducklings.

Alice Grange Care Home in Kesgrave.

A Kesgrave care home is still performing below standards expected by the health watchdog a year after concerns were first raised.

Network Rail engineers working at Harold Wood.

More than half a mile of track was replaced by Network Rail engineers on the main line to London over the bank holiday.

Drug-drivers banned

Three drug-drivers have lost their licences after appearing before Ipswich magistrates.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24