The Wimbledon Foundation is the community and charitable arm of The All England Lawn Tennis Club. It is responsible for co-ordinating and managing an extensive programme of charitable donations, development activities and community support.
With its unique ability to draw on the heritage and resources of the All England Club and The Championships, the Wimbledon Foundation focuses on the following key objectives:
Support given to the Wimbledon Foundation by the All England Club and The Championships is in addition to the fact that every year the large majority of the financial surplus of The Championships is passed to the Lawn Tennis Association or its group for the development of tennis at all levels in Britain.
Activities and donations managed by the Wimbledon Foundation are currently undertaken within the following principal programmes:
The WJTI is a community tennis initiative established in 2001 in partnership with the local authorities of Merton and Wandsworth.
The scheme aims to broaden the base of young players at grassroots level and reaches out to all schools across the two boroughs. It is estimated that more than 140,000 children have been given their first experience of tennis through the WJTI scheme since it started in 2001.
Each week two schools, one in each borough, receive a full day of coaching from the WJTI team (led by Dan Bloxham, Wimbledon head coach). After each school visit, a number of promising children may be invited back (until age 16) to receive free tennis coaching sessions held at the All England Club most weekends during the year with, over a typical weekend, more than 300 children participating.
A strong emphasis in the WJTI programme is placed on values of effort, teamwork and discipline and ‘being the best you can be’. It encourages participation in sport with benefits not only for physical education and health but, importantly, increased self-confidence and positive personal development.
The Road to Wimbledon is for junior tennis players, aged 14 or under.
It encourages boys and girls of all standards to play and enjoy competitive tennis. Supported by HSBC and linked to ‘the magic of Wimbledon’, the The HSBC Road to Wimbledon tournament is open to clubs, tennis centres and schools in England, Scotland and Wales and attracts more than 10,000 young people to take part. It gives opportunities for keen juniors, possibly Britain’s fledgling stars of the future, to progress to county finals and then onwards to the national finals on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
In 2014, the Wimbledon Foundation launched the Road to Wimbledon in India, a new initiative in partnership with HSBC and the All India Tennis Association, aimed at boosting the development of junior tennis in the country. India is the first country where Wimbledon has run an event of this kind outside the UK, with tournaments taking place in Delhi and Mumbai for junior tennis players, aged 14 & under.
Through our Education programme we use the heritage and experience of Wimbledon, both as a historic sporting tournament and also as an international business operation, to support the education of young people.
More than 6,300 5 to 21 year-olds came to curriculum based workshops and tours in the last year, with more than 46,000 having attended since the programme began in 2001.
The Wimbledon Foundation manages a significant programme of grants to charities each year in support of the Foundation’s objectives.
A key contribution to available funds for these charity donations is made by Wimbledon’s unique ticket resale scheme whereby tickets that are no longer required by spectators leaving the show courts during The Championships are re-sold to other spectators in the grounds. All proceeds from this re-sale scheme are donated, through the Foundation, to charity. The official banking partner to The Championships, HSBC, kindly provides a matching amount. Arising out of the 2013 Championships, an amount in excess of £300,000 has been donated to charity through this scheme.
A principal focus of the Foundation’s charity donations are the local communities of Merton and Wandsworth. Out of last year’s ticket resale proceeds, more than £100,000 has been donated to local charities including Home-Start Merton, Carers Support Merton, Wimbledon Guild, Beyond Autism, Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust, 19th Wimbledon Scout Group, charities nominated by the Mayors of Merton and Wandsworth and a charity fund set up specifically for the Foundation within the London Community Foundation to support approved ‘micro’ charity projects in the Southfields area.
The Foundation has also donated £50,000 to St Mary’s Church in Wimbledon towards its church spire repair fund.
Other charities supported by the Foundation include those associated with, or nominated by, key groups involved in the staging of The Championships. These have included: the Metropolitan & City Police Orphans Fund, the Royal Navy Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund , the Army Benevolent Fund, the Fire Fighters’ Charity, Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People, Smile-Train (the charity nominated for the coin-toss ceremony at the 2013 men’s singles final), The Shooting Star CHASE Children’s Hospice (nominated by the Honorary Stewards), Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and St Raphael’s Hospice (nominated by AELTC staff).
The Wimbledon Foundation also engages in, or facilitates, support for a variety of other community or charitable projects in Merton and Wandsworth. Some recent examples include: