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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

Archant

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

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy highlighted the performances of Josh Emmanuel, Jonas Knudsen and Tom Lawrence as positives after tonight’s goalless home draw with high-flying Brighton.

Ipswich Town couldn’t capitalise on Brighton finishing the game with 10 men as they played out a second successive goalless draw at Portman Road in front of their lowest league attendance in almost four years.

Ipswich Town have an opportunity to quickly bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to Leeds as they host Brighton and Hove Albion at Portman Road tonight.

Ipswich Town’s next home game takes place tonight – but how well do you know the opposition?

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers says the team has got to start trying to entertain the fans more ahead of tonight’s Championship clash with Brighton at Portman Road (7.45pm ko).

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers feels criticism of him playing at right-back has been unjustified, but admits he’d love to nail down his preferred position of centre-back again.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy will continue to deploy a safety-first tactical approach heading into back-to-back home games.

Ipswich Town have nine players out injured for tomorrow night’s visit of Championship high-fliers Brighton, but the good news is that Grant Ward and Teddy Bishop are both available for selection.

Mick McCarthy has plenty of credit in the bank at Ipswich Town, but that could rapidly start to run out unless things begin to change.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy conceded his team were ‘poor’ in today’s 1-0 defeat at Leeds United and admitted a lack of goals is a concern.

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