Elena Baltacha set up her Academy with one goal - to give more children, from all backgrounds, the opportunity to learn to play tennis.
The Academy, initially based in Ipswich (UK) has helped many children from deprived areas and disadvantaged backgrounds with free and subsidised coaching and performance support.
Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis (EBAT) is committed to providing the highest standards of tennis coaching and skill development, tailored to children’s ability.
The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis aims to nurture talent and build confidence and life skills through tennis.
The founding principle of the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis is that poverty is no barrier to the development of young tennis talent.
The trustees of the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis charity are committed to continuing Elena’s work and staying true to her belief that tennis should be accessible to all children, irrespective of their social background or circumstances.
Judy Murray, Great Britain’s Fed Cup captain and one of the most accomplished tennis coaches in the UK, is patron of the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.
EBAT began with Elena and her coach (and now husband Nino Severino) personally approaching Primary schools in deprived areas of Ipswich and offering free tennis taster sessions. Elena was at the height of her career at the time and was ranked British No.1 at the time.
EBAT is now based at Ipswich School, which provides facilities for mini-tennis and tennis.
EBAT currently has more than 70 young players on its programme, with an age ranging from 5 -13, many of whom come from deprived areas and receive free and subsidised coaching.
Initially only girls were admitted to the programme but this was opened up to both genders due to demand for places.
EBAT’s programme includes mini-tennis and performance tennis; elite players have a full strength and conditioning and physio support as well as muscular-skeletal scans for injury prevention. Great emphasis is placed on developing self-confidence, self-discipline and life skills and EBAT’s players can develop their tennis in a warm, nurturing and, above all, fun environment.
In 2014, EBAT took a group of elite players for a clay-court training camp in La Manga.