Former Wimbledon champion Murray was joined by brother Jamie, Jordanne Whiley, Tim Henman and Philip Brook to open the new facility.
LONDON – 9 June 2016 – Children taking part in the All England Club’s Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative were treated to a training session with a difference as former Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray took time out of his busy pre-Wimbledon schedule to join them at the official opening of the Club’s new Community Sports Ground, at Raynes Park.
Double Grand Slam champion Murray, who recently became the first British man to reach the French Open singles final in 79 years, was accompanied by fellow Grand Slam champion and brother Jamie Murray, multiple Grand Slam wheelchair doubles’ champion Jordanne Whiley, former British No.1 and AELTC Committee Member Tim Henman, and Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club.
The new facility which features six hard courts, three outdoor and three indoor, will be the base for the 400 local children on the WJTI programme while improvement work is carried out to their usual home of Wimbledon’s No.1 Court. The Community Sports Ground will also host Ball Boy and Ball Girl training and, in the future, is intended for use by the local community overseen by an All England Club-funded community tennis coach.
Andy Murray said: “Local facilities like this are so important in allowing kids to get their first experience of tennis. We had a few tennis courts nearby where I grew up and we were always encouraged to get out there and be active, it was a really important part of me and my brother’s development.”
Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club, said: “We are delighted to be opening this new Community Sports Ground. As well as being a fantastic facility for the hundreds of local children who take part in the Wimbledon Junior tennis Initiative, it will offer additional opportunities for adults and children from Merton and Wandsworth to play tennis.”