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Tennis: Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis celebrates success

13:58 06 December 2012

Elena with the EBAT players at the Red Ball Tournament

Elena with the EBAT players at the Red Ball Tournament


TENNIS: The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT) are celebrating after their Olympic-inspired tennis roadshow recruited some promising talents – who have already starting winning awards.

The roadshow delivered a fun-packed programme to eight primary schools across Ipswich following an inspirational Olympics.

This resulted in 86 girls attending an introductory EBAT Summer Programme at Ipswich Sports Club, Henley Road, which ran over five weeks.

From this 65 girls joined the academy proper and started their sporting lives in tennis.

They have been training solidly for three months and are committed to a very tough training programme that has been designed not only to promote tennis but also to find the tennis stars of the future.

Academy director and Elena Baltacha’s coach Nino Severino said: “Serena Williams had a very tough start in tennis, coming from a deprived area.

“We hope that EBAT can produce talent that can be inspired by players like Serena and one day go on to win a Grand Slam.”

The focus for the first block of training these new EBAT girls experienced were two tournaments held at Ipswich Sports Club.

In the first Orange Ball tournament for the older girls, EBAT players Tewana Senah, Sophie Taber and Maddison Frost took first, second and third place respectively.

In the second Red Ball tournament, EBAT players Jessica Eagle and Ellie Merry-Kennedy took second and fourth spots respectively.

EBAT’s new players have not only been inspired by the Olympics, but also by the achievements of other established EBAT girls such as Sofiya Khalyaeva and Justice Hall.

These two players are now training and competing at a high level and flew up to Scotland to join Judy Murray, mother of US Open champion Andy Murray, for a training block at the Scottish National Training Centre.

Justice Hall is now being assessed for national status and Sofiya Khalyaeva is a national player who has already been selected to compete for Great Britain.

She now starts her tennis life on the junior tour, competing in Portugal this month and Sweden in January.

EBAT is the only academy of its kind in Great Britain. It’s an official charity that focuses on offering high-quality tennis programmes to young girls who live or go to schools that are located within deprived areas of Ipswich.

EBAT’s goal is to develop Suffolk into a hotbed of tennis talent, deriving from girls who would not normally ever have the opportunity to be involved in a sport like tennis because of the cost implications.

Elena Baltacha and Nino Severino academy director would like to thank EBAT coaches Chris Daynes, Danny Wyatt, Lee Tweed, Ben Roberts-Law, George Ayde and Phil Green who have all contributed greatly to the development of all the EBAT players.

1 comment

  • What Elena Baltacha is doing is just class - really giving back. Thanks Bally.

    Report this comment

    Origami Angel

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

At last! Ipswich Town have scored some goals – and after 10 months Freddie Sears even managed to grab one as well, much to the delight of himself and his teammates.

Being a dad helped Freddie Sears switch off from football during his recent 38-game goalless spell.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits he was a relieved man after his team finally got back to winning ways tonight.

Ipswich Town returned to winning ways, ending a five-game goal drought, as Luke Chambers and Freddie Sears scored in each half of a 2-0 home triumph over Burton Albion.

It’s been described as a crunch game for Ipswich Town – recently promoted Burton Albion visit Portman Road tonight.

Ipswich Town centre-back Adam Webster says his feet remain firmly on the floor following manager Mick McCarthy’s repeated insistence that he is a Premier League player in the making.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he does not fear the sack ahead of tonight’s crunch Championship clash with Burton Albion at Portman Road (7.45pm ko).

Ipswich Town striker David McGoldrick is set to make his injury comeback in an Under-23s game at Colchester United tonight.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy said he didn’t hesitate in dropping Josh Emmanuel for Saturday’s goalless draw at Blackburn.

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