It's not just about the tennis...
Although many SW19 residents see the Wimbledon tournament as an annual inconvenience, the All England Tennis Club does carry out a series of initiatives which help the local community.
Its programme of donations and other benefits is not just linked to tennis-related activity, as its contributions have gone towards a series of projects in the area. They include the following:
It has also given 100,000 children in Merton and Wandsworth the chance to play tennis, through its Road to Wimbledon initiative, launched in 2001.
This has seen a special coaching team make 450 visits to schools in the area, while around 300 children per day attend sessions at the club held on 45 weekends each year.
Other tennis-related activities have seen it pay for the resurfacing of 10 artificial grass courts in Wimbledon Park in May 2003, having originally renewed 15 tennis courts in Wimbledon Park in 1988.
And ten young people from Merton secondary schools have the opportunity to become tennis ambassadors by embarking on a year-long leadership and volunteering project in a joint venture between the All England Club and the Merton School Sports Partnership.
On completion of the project, the ambassadors, who are nominated by their PE teachers, will have a recognised qualification in tennis leadership which they can use not only at their school, but also within the Borough.
Away from tennis, it also runs a Playing for Success Study Support Centre, is a high-tech learning zone set in No. 1 Court, offering after-school programmes for pupils in Merton focussing on numeracy, literacy and IT and confidence-raising activities. Around 500 pupils have attended holiday learning programmes during school breaks.
June 29, 2010