Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis Awards & Christmas Lunch: Sunday 20 December 2015

Posted 15 Mar 2016

The annual Academy awards presentation took place on Sunday 20th December 2015, at the Holiday Inn, Ipswich.

133 players, parents & Academy staff attended the awards hosted by Academy director Nino Severino, these awards pay tribute to and honour Elena’s players.

With the Academy busier than ever and with more children participating and competing in this wonderful sport, selecting the award winners was harder than ever before for the awards committee.

The event started with the EBAT family arriving at 1:30pm for arrival drinks before moving into the event hall ready for the three course Christmas lunch which was wonderfully prepared by the hotel resident chefs.

Once the meal was finished and the tea and coffee was doing the rounds, it was time for the serious business of presenting the awards.  There were lots of awards up for grabs, but the first was to present all the players with their EBAT Excellence medals for 2015.  Bally always believed in her players and of course recognised just how tough it was for everyone in this sport, therefore she wanted to honour all her players for their commitment and dedication to this sport, regardless of ability – everyone goes home with something.

Photo: Academy Mini-Club players receiving their EBAT Excellence medals for 2015.


Photo: Academy Mini-Red players receiving their EBAT Excellence medals for 2015.


Photo: Academy Mini-Orange players receiving their EBAT Excellence medals for 2015.

Mini Orange

Photo: Academy Mini-Green players receiving their EBAT Excellence medals for 2015.

Mini Green

Photo: Academy Yellow Ball players receiving their EBAT Excellence medals for 2015.

Mini Yellow

Next up were the players from our two Red and Orange Ball AEGON Team Tennis teams for 2015 who each won their respective leagues and gained promotion in this, the Academy’s first year in the competition.

On to the major awards of the afternoon…It was great to get the Academy Coaches, Assistants and of course Academy Director Nino Severino involved to help present the awards to the players. Our thanks also to EBAT Trustee Steve Harding, who along with Nino, jointly presented the Player of the Year trophy.

Full list of award winners for 2015:

Red Ball Player of the Year: Elliott Thomas
Special Award: Joe Fortnum-Adams
‘Garfy’ Most Improved Player of the Year: Jasper Mardell
‘Patron’ Judy Murray Award: Madi Murphy
Best New Player: Haqim Kamal
‘FUTURES’ Player of the Year: Ella Glanville
Outstanding Athlete of the Year: Amber Harding
YONEX Player of the Year:  Jessica Terry
Team Award: EBAT Red Ball Team B - Joe Fortnum-Adams, Jasper Mardell, George Last, Bliss Wilson, Elena Fairweather and Morgan Hadley.

Player of the Month December:
Nominations: Lukyan Arnold, Gigi Gebhard, Elena Fairweather, Nicole King, Abi Wagstaff, Elliott Thomas, Elenor Garwood and Morgan Hadley.
Winner: Elenor Garwood.

Serena & Venus Williams Vase: Alana Bristow
Player of the Year: Lewis Hind: Lewis Hind

Once the awards had all been presented there was, of course one final tribute, this was to our dear Elena.  The reason everyone was all together, the common ground that we all share and it was only right that we pay tribute to our beautiful Bally.

My thanks to all of the players, parents and staff for attending, to the staff at the Holiday Inn and in particular Stef Garwood, for going above and beyond to cater for our every need and making this occasion special for everyone.  To Aaron Garwood, Steve Harding and of course our Academy Director, Nino Severino for all their efforts and support in bringing this event together. Most of all  we would like to thank Bally – we love you, miss you and hope we have done you proud.

Merry Christmas!

Jamie Friend
Academy Manager

by Louise Stephens