New Film Highlights Wimbledon's Sporting Heritage

'Common Ground' aims to inspire

A film exploring Wimbledon's rich sporting history and aiming to inspire local sporting passion has been premiered in the town.

The film, Common Ground, was 14 months in the making and was produced by the True Volunteer Foundation at a cost of just £400.

The film explores how Wimbledon became the birthplace of so many sports and the breeding ground for sporting champions.

Narrated by Jacquie Beltrao from Sky News, it features celebrities and sporting heroes from a wide range of sporting disciplines, including Greg Rusedski, Will Greenwood, Victor Ubogu, Dewi Morris, Steve Cram, Sean Kerly, John Scales, Lawrie Sanchez, Mark Butcher, Daley Thompson and Alec Stewart.

It's estimated the film would have cost £90,000 to make, but thanks to volunteers, partners and sponsors, it was reduced to a near-zero cost.

It aims to ignite sporting fever and a sporting passion among children across Merton in the build-up to this year's Olympic Games. DVDs of the film and an accompanying book are being provided to all schools.

Merton Chamber of Commerce became a partner in the project early in its development. Diana Sterck, Chamber CEO, said: "The project was a perfect fit with the work we have been doing over the past six months to establish The Wimbledon Way – a visitor attraction that celebrates local heritage.

"Although the film focuses on Wimbledon, the project has already benefited the whole borough. The project is a lasting legacy because of the Olympics coming to London – to not only promote Wimbledon’s heritage (and that SW19 is not just about tennis) but will encourage people to get involved in sport and learn more about their heritage.

"Importantly, it has provided an excellent prototype for the business community to give something back to their local community around a common purpose to achieve a sporting legacy."

May 28, 2012