Ipswich Town players grab a tennis racket to celebrate club’s partnership with Elena Baltacha foundation

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town players Martyn Waghorn and Luke Hyam swapped the pitch for the tennis court yesterday to celebrate the club’s new partnership with the Elena Baltacha Foundation.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The Town stars paid a visit to children at Sidegate Community Primary School, playing a few games with the enthusiastic youngsters.

And it was a extra special occasion for Luke, who went to the school himself as a child.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Nino Severino, Elena Baltacha’s husband and chairman of the foundation, said it was great experience for the children

“The event was an Elena Baltacha Foundation Roadshow where we promote tennis through the local schools,” he said.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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“It was also an opportunity to celebrate our new relationship between Ipswich Town Football Club and the foundation.

“To celebrate we had Martyn Waghorn there and his lovely wife Leoni and Luke Hyam which was nice because it is was his old primary school.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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“It was a great experience for the children.”

The club and the Baltacha family have a rich history together.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Elena’s father Sergei signed for the club in 1988, becoming the first player from the Soviet Union to play in the English football league.

Ipswich become Elena’s home and she went on to become the long-term British tennis number one.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

She passed away on May 2014.

Mr Severino said his wife’s energy carries on through the foundation’s work.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

He said: “Hopefully the children will fall in love with tennis and take it up on a recreational level.

“They may even place themselves in the running to be a tennis player of the future.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“The foundation is eager to help children to have a healthy lifestyle through sport.

“It always has been.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“Of course for us it is also about keeping my wife’s memory alive and to remember what a wonderful lady she was.

“Through this personal tragedy we find lots and lots of children smiling and individuals like the Waghorns becoming part of our foundation family.

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“Elena’s energy carries on.

“If course it was a tragedy, a horrible thing to happen, but she left us all with so much.”

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

For more information about the Elena Baltacha Foundation visit www.elenabaltachafoundation.org

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Luke Hyam, Leoni and Martyn Waghorn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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