Elena Baltacha-Severino committed totally to developing the links with our local schools. She personally visited all the schools in our network in-between travelling on the WTA World Tour. Elena and her husband Nino would contact schools, arrange EBAT Road Shows and deliver them personally. Both would load up Nino's white van, drive to each school and work with all the children, ensuring they could all experience tennis.
Everyone at the Foundation acknowledges without the sacrifice of Elena during her time in Ipswich between the global travelling, EBAT would have never been launched. Our Bally gave her time freely whenever she could, and many teachers throughout our network of schools have very fond and warm memories of Bally working with pupils and also relaxing in the teachers staff rooms having discussions about her vision for EBAT.
Bally's vision, drive and enthusiasm for promoting tennis in Ipswich ensured that EBAT would be a great success. Bally would take every challenge head on, and ensure that our relationships with our schools has become one of our greatest strengths, the school network we now manage is part of the big vision Bally had planned. From the initial beginnings, Bally produced a network of 26 schools, pupils from these schools are now part of our academy and many schools now also run breakfast, lunch and after school tennis clubs.
We have contacted all our schools and offered an assembly presentation to inform all of the children of the work EBAT are continually carrying out. Apart from one, Nino has personally visited every school, and during his presentation he proudly plays the EBAT Movie that features Bally. He said "My darling beautiful wife made a difference to everyone who knew her, she was such a positive woman who never complained and saw every obstacle as a challenge to be conquered, her spirit is still very much with me and the pride I feel in my heart when I listen to her speak in the EBAT Movie is indescribable". To celebrate our relationship and the work we carry out with our schools Nino presents a beautiful plaque with our Bally's image on it to all the schools, the response has been overwhelming and many schools already are proudly displaying the plaques on their walls. This ensures that all who visit the schools are aware of the work that Bally's foundation is carrying out and the amazing relationship that Bally built with every school in our EBAT network.