I’m very happy to announce that the 2017 Elena Baltacha Foundation Awards will be the most prestigious so far. From humble beginnings we have secured the support of the Women’s World Tennis Governing body, the WTA who will be our event partners.
I’ve had a number of very exciting conference calls with the WTA Miami office, discussing how we would work together. This has been emotional for me, as it shows the respect our world governing body has for Elena and all she achieved off court with her foundation.
During Elena’s illness and the fight that she put up against cancer, a cruel disease, the WTA offered us both so much support.
From my perspective, I can tell you that this world-wide organisation has a massive heart and compassion, and when one of their own confronted this life trauma, they were there to help on many levels.
This support extended to our foundation, supported by attendance at events from many of the stars of the tennis world, and led by our incredible Patron Judy Murray. The outpouring of emotion and support was overwhelming and made a big difference to us both during this very traumatic time.
It’s incredible to think that this is the fourth Elena Baltacha Foundation Awards since my wife and I were separated.
To be honest, although I love watching the children receiving the awards, the first three award ceremonies had an edge of sadness for me. I was thinking about Elena all the way through, she absolutely loved the awards and had so much fun with the children.
This year is different, I feel very positive, and I see the event as a major celebration of Elena’s life and what she is still achieving through the children. It’s a very special year, as our very good friend Anne Keothavong will be attending as our guest of honour. Anne grew up with Elena in tennis, with both reaching the professional ranks, and in 2012, competing as members of Team GB, partnering each other in doubles.
Anne, who is now Great Britain Fed Cup Captain and BT Sport Commentator, is also one of our valued foundation Ambassadors. She will be joined by James Burridge, from the BBC, who will be presenting the evening, James has supported both Elena and I with BBC coverage while we travelled and competed on the world tour. He continued this support by always having time for the foundation and featuring us on the BBC sports news programmes on a regular basis.
The event will also be attended by many of our local sporting stars, who will be there to celebrate Elena’s life, support the young children who have all worked so hard, and of course enjoy the glittering evening which will include a red carpet experience for all.
If you would be interested in joining us for this very special event on the 10th December at Trinity Park, please contact [email protected], it will be a pleasure to share the evening with you. You can attend on your own, with a partner or take a full or part corporate table.