I Work For...The LTA: It's my perfect match

ANNE CARR-HILL IS PA TO JOHN CROWTHER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE LAWN TENNIS ASSOCIATION

I've loved tennis since the day my parents arranged lessons when I was aged eight. My family are mad about tennis, we've always watched every match we could and I began going to Wimbledon as soon as I was old enough to join the queue. I also remember playing tennis during a school tournament with a girl called Clare Wood who completely thrashed me, though she was four years younger - she went on to be Britain's number one female player. I used to go autograph hunting in Eastbourne and saw Sue Barker, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova among others - but my all time favourite was Henri Leconte because of his looks and his entertaining tennis.

The first time I went to Centre Court at Wimbledon was when I won tickets for the men's final. People offered me lots of money for them. But it felt so special to be sitting in the sunshine, opposite the Royal Box, surrounded by an excited crowd and television cameras.

I always knew that I wanted to work in sports through secretarial work hadn't occurred to me. I began working for an events organiser, but after five years in the job, applied for a wonderful-sounding position with an international sports company involving liaison with players, the media, and lots of travel. It was only when I was invited for an interview that I discovered it was the Lawn Tennis Association, and that the ad had made the job sound much more glamorous than it was: but I didn't mind. I was just over the moon to be working for a sporting organiser as PA to the chief executive.

People always say to me "but what do you do when Wimbledon isn't on?", and I have to explain that through Wimbledon is a two-week tournament, my job actually takes up 52 weeks a year. During the tournament we decamp to our new offices at Wimbledon itself - we used to be based in Portakabins, but when the new Number One Court was built we moved in to our own offices deep in the complex.

When John became chief executive, he was completely new to tennis, having previously run Vickers Defence Systems, and was chosen for this role because of his business skills. But he promised us that within six months we'd all assume he had worked within this field forever, and he has been true to his word.

Most of us working here play tennis and some are ex-professionals. John's tennis was a bit rusty when he started, but he's been taking lessons ever since, and I am partnering him in the LTA's tennis ladder so we will soon know what standard he's managed to reach.

It's a shame most tennis fans tend to pick up their rackets when Wimbledon's on and throw them back in the cupboard once it's over. But the LTA is trying to change the game's profile, encouraging people to see it as an all-year, accessible sport.

My work shifts from secretarial work to being given the responsibility of accrediting all international visitors from the nations affiliated to the International Tennis Federation. I very much enjoy meeting such a wide range of people, many of whom are very friendly, occasionally bringing us gifts specific to their countries - strange alcoholic concoctions, clothing more suitable for a beach than a British climate, and lots and lots of chocolate.

But I recently had a very embarrassing situation when I was asked to make out a pass for a gentleman and his wife, and, assuming that his details were unchanged, copied the passes from the previous year, only to discover that he had divorced and remarried in the interim. The new wife was not amused at being given the name of her predecessor.

During the tournament I become very popular as everyone erroneously assumes I can get them tickets. Of course I do dash out from time to time and see the odd game, but I have to be careful as once I start watching a match, it's impossible to tear myself away. Similarly I have to keep track of John to make sure that he doesn't get so involved in a match he forgets his meetings.

Wimbledon provides an ideal occasion for business deals because everyone whose anyone in the sport is present. During the fortnight we get asked a variety of questions like: "Who will be playing in the final?" or "When is it going to stop raining?'

When I'm not at Wimbledon, I'm based at the LTA's head office at Queen's Club: my duties include dealing with John's correspondence, organising his diary, taking minutes at meetings, and arranging travel for the business trips he makes after British players progress at tournaments around the country and occasionally overseas.

I've just come back from maternity leave and I now find myself rushing back home to see my son at the end of the day. Just as my parents encouraged me to play tennis at an early age, my husband and I hope to introduce our son to it as soon as he can hold a racket, but we certainly won't be tennis parents from hell.

Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific