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Tennis for everyone!

Tennis for everyone!

With it being game, set and match for Andy Murray, winning his second Wimbledon Championships title we look at charities that help support the sport and future grassroots tennis stars.

Did you know…?

  • Wimbledon championship is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, with the first contest taking place in 1877
  • Over 250 ball boys and girls are used during the two-week competition
  • Around 28,000kg of English strawberries are consumed by spectators during the fortnight
  • Roger Federer is currently tied with Pete Sampras for the record of most Wimbledon championships won, they've both achieved 7 wins!
  • For 20 years all Wimbledon ball boys came from Barnardo’s  residential schools in Hertfordshire

Barnardo’s have a very long history with Wimbledon, this year celebrating 70 years since their special relationship with theAll England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships at Wimbledon.

For twenty years from 1946, all Wimbledon ball boys came from Barnardo’s residential schools in Hertfordshire. To celebrate the partnership some former ball boys will be returning to Wimbledon to share memories with other ball boys and girls who are training for this year’s Championships.

Former ball boy, Terry Whitehead, 72 from Lancashire said:

“I was proud to be chosen to be a ball boy. I remember play being stopped and everything falling silent as I was asked to remove a fly from the Brazilian player, Maria Bueno’s eye. As ball boys we had ways of letting each other know whether we liked a player. If we liked them, we’d bounce the ball off the floor directly into their hand and if we didn’t we’d try to put a spin on the ball so it was difficult to catch!”

“Being ‘ball boys’ for 20 years was an opportunity for some Barnardo’s students to be part of something truly special and inspirational, and as we mark our 150th anniversary, it’s wonderful to recognise the positive impact both Wimbledon and the support from our charity has had on their lives. From Barnardo’s beginnings to the present day, we continue to provide care, support and training to hundreds of thousands of children, young people and families every year." Said Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan.

Learn more about Barnardo’s Wimbledon history.

As well as watching all the action there are many ways you can help support budding Wimbledon contenders and encourage more people to get involved in the sport, whatever their ability.

Tennis First

Tennis First raises money to give financial grants to some of the UK’s most budding and talented young junior players. The money raised helps families cope with all the costs associated with the game, such as overseas travel, accommodation, extra training, physiotherapy and kit, all of which increase rapidly as soon as the player starts to compete at international level. A European trip is likely to cost a minimum of £1000 per week.

Through a range of events and auctions, the charity helps raise much-needed funds to support families. Find out more and help support our potential future Wimbledon stars here.

The Tennis Foundation

The Tennis Foundation is Great Britain's leading tennis charity and their vision is to create a sport which is inclusive and accessible to all people and communities. Their mission is to open tennis up to anyone and everyone making it possible for them to enjoy the many health and social benefits of the sport while maximising their personal potential. In partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and many other organisations, they promote tennis as an inclusive sport across a wide range of disabilities.

They have an innovative and exciting programme called Serves which aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged people by giving them the opportunity to play tennis. Through Serves, The Tennis Foundation take tennis into places it’s never been before, equipping local people trusted and rooted in communities with the skills to provide tennis activities for everyone.  As part of Serves, the Tennis Activator course trains community champions with basic tennis organisation and delivery skills to confidently run a session in a fun and informal way. They also provide a range of dynamic and flexible resources including a permanent pop-up court, alongside modified kit (soft balls, appropriately sized rackets and nets).

“Tennis is the perfect sport and medium to bring a lot of positive changes to the community. In the current climate where ensuring people need to feel part of society, feel included and improve relations within communities, tennis and sport has a big part to play. It helps put people on a level playing field regardless of what your background is. Tennis can teach people how to work hard, learn discipline, team work, increase your social circle and feel part of something. With the support from the Tennis Foundation will be looking to start delivering more tennis projects into the community.” Rashida Salloo winner of the Tennis Foundation Special Recognition Award at the British Ethnic Diversity in Sport Awards.

Find out more information on all their projects here.