THE INTERNATIONAL LAWN TENNIS CLUB
Popularly known as the IC but very often referred to as the "International Club" or sometimes as the "I.L.T.C."
Membership throughout the world is restricted to players who have represented their country, who have won national championships or who have achieved a high standard of play and played in representative matches abroad e/g/ for a Club or University.
Each country has its IC with similar rules governed by the Council of International Clubs which meets once a year at Wimbledon and since 2008 at Rohampton. Council elects an Executive Committee to manage its affairs and report to it on that occasion.
The initial idea of the International Club was conceived at The Championships, Wimbledon 1923, when a former British Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour, was chatting to Wallis Myers, an outstanding writer on lawn tennis. Uppermost in Balfour's mind was the prospect of promoting international goodwill by friendship across the net. Myers was not one to let such an opportunity pass, and on 26th November 1924, the IC of Great Britain was formed. In the following year, steel grey and pink were selected as the Club's colors. The IC was to foster friendship, pure and noncommercial.
In 1929, Jean Borotra was approached by Wallis Myers and Lord Lyle to form a Club in France in what the former described as an "extension of the British franchise". Other great nations followed suit; the USA and The Netherlands in 1931, Czechoslovakia (now disbanded) in 1933, and Sweden in 1937.
Each Club organizes its own annual programm to achieve the objects as set forth in the constitution. Matches are played between International Clubs which have, over the years, enabled ex-international players to maintain friendships made though tennis.
In June 1949, the Council of International Clubs placed on record that the regulations and administration of the game, and of lawn tennis in general, were not the function of International Clubs and that the International Clubs should aid their respective Associations in every reasonable way. The Council also emphasized that the game of lawn tennis, and all that it stands for in promoting international goodwill and comradeship, can truly be served by close co-operation of International Clubs with National Associations and vice versa.
Thus, the IC. have never become involved in the politics of tennis and they represent an ideal arena in which tennis can be played free from the politics of the world game, and the pressures of commercialism. Many Clubs assist the young tennis players of their own country by taking them on matches abroad, or holding competitions for promising young players.
Many regard the IC. as an opportunity to retain their links with the game and an opportunity to put something back into the game after an active playing life has come to an end. Most Clubs will entertain visiting players on the occasion of their country's major tournaments. At Wimbledon, the IC. of Great Britain holds a reception at the Hurlingham Club, and gives a Dinner Dance in the weekend before Wimbledon. The IC. of the United States holds a Dinner during the American National Championships as do the Clubs of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa during their National Championships, and this format is followed by most member countries.
ISRAEL'S ENTRY AS AN IC MEMBER
Israel is proud to be a member of the prestigious and most important International Club, initiated in 1924, which now boasts over 40 member countries worldwide. Israel applied for membership and was unanimously voted in as a fellow member in 1984.
The concept, ideals and importance of the International Club is because of what it stands for, and the emblem of the club sums up its reasons and aims for its existence. This emblem, adopted in 1949, is a silhouette of a tennis ball, (the world), divided into 4 equal sections, North, South, East and West.
In each section a word is inscribed–
Our International Club of Israel is thus an integral part of the organization and one can only hope that the aims and achievements of these 4 ideals of the International Club will spread to become the symbol of the worlds nations not only in the field of tennis but in every aspect of our universe.
IC Israel organizes IC Mornings held few times a year playing social doubles, sometimes followed by lunch or BBQ where potential new members and younger players are encouraged to attend.
The IC of Israel also takes part in a number of International IC matches and events including IC weeks; Holland 1991, 2006, England and Ireland 1999, Monaco 2002, Mexico 2004, USA 2008, The Potter Cup in Barcelona 2004 and 2009. Teams also went to India in 1994, to England in 1997, and also to Paris in July 2007 to play in the French IC 75th anniversary celebrations.
It is up to our dedicated Israeli committee and members to enhance and promote the club here in Israel and through friendly tennis matches against the other world members, to promote Israel and the ideals of the organization beyond the fences of the tennis court.
We enjoy a membership of about 25 active members and try to maintain the motto of loving the game beyond the prize.
The main criteria of our club is past representation of Israel at all levels including Macabbi Games, Veteran Cup Competitions and Junior Events.
We also enjoy members who have helped to develop the game of tennis in Israel.