About the IC

The IC Story

The IC Story

It was after the First World War when there was a sudden surge of interest and success from overseas competitors at Wimbledon that the idea of an International Club was born. 

Arthur Wallis Myers, a keen tennis and golf player, and Dwight Davis, the donor of the Davis Cup were discussing the need to restore faith in the value of international friendships. Myers, who was then also influenced by the former Prime Minister, Lord Balfour, wanted to establish some way of nurturing and preserving the camaraderie that existed between young competitors of so many countries who met in serious but friendly rivalry at tournaments around the world each year. 

Accordingly, on the 26th of November 1924 at the Royal Automobile Club, Myers explained his ideas to an attentive gathering of tennis players. ‘We are seeking to cement the ties that bind us to all international players, to exchange greetings with them from time to time, to offer them hospitality when they come in our midst. Hands across the net, in fact, means hands across the ocean.’ And so the IC was formed. Its purpose was of social and non-political nature and was to bring together a society of players who have toured in and been educated by overseas countries. 

As it still stands today, it was considered a great honour to be invited to wear the distinctive grey tie with the single pink stripe, and not every player who participated abroad automatically became a member. 
Consequently, the first overseas nation to form an International Club was France in 1929 and then followed by the Americans a year later. Fittingly, their ties were of two and three pink stripes respectively.  

The IC Council was then established in 1948 to approve the formation of new ICs and to protect and foster the ideals of existing ICs. 

Today there are 40 ICs of the world with over 4,500 members worldwide and 13 philanthropy projects being sustained. Most importantly, the original concept of Wallis Myers still stands today as players of all nations compete with the highest standard of sportsmanship and come together afterwards in social union, signifying the IC spirit of ‘hands across the net, friendship across the ocean’. 

 

Next Article Aims & Objectives

IC Timeline

Wallis Myers founded the International Lawn Tennis Club of GB at an inaugural meeting at the RAC, Pall Mall. The aim was to improve relationships between countries that had been at war with each other

2nd IC was founded – IC of France.

3rd IC was founded – IC of USA

Total of 7 IC clubs in existence (Austria, Netherlands, Czech Republic and then Sweden)

Creation of the IC Council

IC of Netherlands hosts the first IC week – ‘festival of tennis’

Total of IC 16 Clubs

Creation of The Potter Cup (men over 45s)

Total of 27 IC Clubs

Ladies were eligible for membership, like the men

First two elected Lady Ordinary Members (Winnie Woolridge and Frances Taylor)

Introduction of Junior Associate Membership

Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award introduced and first winner was Stefan Edberg.

IC of GB 75 year IC Week Wimbledon

Council founded ICJC – U16 girls and boys with donations from The Compass Group

Partnership with Lacoste
HSBC (initial Sponsor of Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award- now CQS)
Banque de Luxembourg (support Philanthropy)

First under-privileged clinic in conjunction with IC JC run by Gabby Sabatini in Argentina

Council founded IC Philanthropy – to use tennis to help young people with disabilities

Partnership formed with ‘Give it your Max’, to run The Tennis Ball which funds the Philanthropy projects

CQS gives first donation towards IC Sportsmanship Award and later, the Czech Nations Event

40 IC’s of the World – approx. 4500 members worldwide
13 philanthropy projects being sustained

IC Weeks and major celebratory events scheduled for:
2018 Japan 40 years old
2019 France 90 years old
2020 S Africa 70 years old
2022 Belgium 75 years old
2024 GB 100 years old