Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association is set to have its first female president in three and a half years time following the news that Cathie Sabin has been nominated to serve a three year term as vice-president from December.
LTA tradition decrees that the vice-president ascends to the top post and Peter Bretherton, the current no.2, will succeed Derek Howarth at the annual general meeting set to take place at the National Training Centre in Roehampton at the end of this year.
If Sabin’s nomination is approved by the LTA council, and that is considered a formality as it was this body which elected her to the main board, she will serve three years as Bretherton’s assistant.
Sabin is a retired schoolteacher, and chairman of the AEGON Classic event, staged annually at Birmingham’s Edgaston Priory and will this year again feature Maria Sharapova as part of the entry.
A qualified referee, and president of Shropshire LTA, Sabin regards it as a great honor to be nominated. “I have spent a lifetime in tennis, and I am passionate about the sport in clubs, schools and counties,” she said. “There is so much good work going on across the sport, and I want to continue to support that work in this new role.”
Current PresidentHoworth, said of the nomination: “Cathie has so much experience at all levels of tennis, and to be able to bring all of that to the role of deputy president will be of real benefit to the LTA.”
The LTA has also appointed Richard Baker, non-executive chairman of Virgin Active, to the main board. The 47 year-old will replace Bob Phillis who died earlier this year and become  the second independent non-executive member of the LTA Main Board, together with Val Gooding CBE, former chief executive of BUPA.
Baker was previously group chief executive of Alliance Boots plc, responsible for a company with 100,000 staff worldwide, and $24 billion in revenue. He is also chairman of the European Division of Groupe Aeroplan, which owns and runs the nectar loyalty program in the UK and is a non-executive director of Whitbread PLC.
Commenting on his new appointment, Baker said: “I’m really looking forward to joining the LTA and bringing the knowledge I have gained from leading some of Britain’s biggest companies to help in the development of British tennis.
“As a lifelong, passionate tennis player and fan, I am very excited to be getting involved in supporting the growth of the sport at all levels.”
LTA Chief Executive, Roger Draper, said: “To have someone of Richard’s business caliber and experience will be a huge asset to the LTA Main Board, as we continue to professionalize the running of our sport.”
Mr. Baker is 47 and married with two children.

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