Cathie Sabin OBE, 1947 - 2020
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The LTA is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ex LTA President and Councillor Cathie Sabin OBE.
It is impossible to do justice to quite what Cathie contributed to tennis since she first picked up a racket aged seven. But at the centre of it, lay a love of bringing more people into the sport and an incredible passion for recognising the people and volunteers from club to national level who help to grow tennis in Britain.
Cathie continued to play tennis through school and college. Indeed, it was at college that she had the opportunity to coach in Newfoundland for a summer, leading to her love of coaching and teaching tennis to young people and starting her on a journey that would see her use her own passion for the sport to benefit others over the coming decades.
In her twenties, Cathie moved to become a PE teacher in Shropshire, the County that she would go on to represent on court for many years as well as off court.
After making a huge impact supporting the delivery and growth of tennis at grassroots level, Cathie became an LTA Councillor representing Shropshire in 2001. She then became a member and Chair of numerous committees and groups, before retiring as a PE teacher in July 2005 to concentrate on her role as an LTA Councillor and volunteer. Cathie joined the LTA Board in 2007, before becoming Deputy President in 2011. She also represented the LTA on the Committee of Management of The Championships from 2010.
In 2013, Cathie was named as the LTA’s first ever female President, with her time in the role including Great Britain’s momentous Davis Cup win. Her impact was not just limited to Great Britain though, as at an international level, she was also a member of the ITF Olympic Committee from 2015.
Cathie received the Teacher of the Year Award in 2000 and the National Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009. She was then awarded an OBE in the 2016 New Year Honours List for Services to Tennis, and in 2017, we named our ‘Volunteer of the Year’ LTA Tennis Award after her. Last year, we also presented Cathie with the Carl Aarvold Award, in honour of her outstanding contribution to tennis in Britain and internationally.
Cathie was a great friend to LTA colleagues. Her heart remained with County tennis and she considered clubs, schools and the County scene to be the bedrock of tennis and where the development of the game should be encouraged.
Cathie had an infectious positive attitude and an ability to engage with people from all walks of life - qualities that were admired by all those who knew and worked with her.
Quite simply, she will be sorely missed by all of us in tennis in Britain and beyond.