Giant Tennis Ball Mosaic Highlights Importance of Clean Water

WaterAid and Wimbledon Foundation team up

10-year-old Tefy from Madagascar is picture. Picture: WaterAid/Oliver Dixon

A giant mosaic made entirely of tennis balls has been created near No. 1 Court in Wimbledon showing a young boy enjoying a glass of water.

WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation created the picture of a young boy enjoying clean water with the help from artists from Sand in Your Eye, to highlight how more than 11,000 children’s lives could be saved during The Championships if everyone, everywhere had access to clean water and toilets. 

It took 12 hours to create the tennis-court-sized portrait , showing 10-year-old Tefy from Antsakambahiny village in Madagascar who, with the help of WaterAid and partners including the Wimbledon Foundation, now has clean water at school and near his home. 

Across the world, 771 million people – one in 10 – are living without clean water close to home and 1.7 billion people – one in five – do not have a decent toilet. Furthermore, over half of healthcare facilities in the least developed countries have no clean water on site.

Without access to these basic facilities, the lives of and children are needlessly put at risk, with around 800 children under five dying every day from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. Many more are frequently ill or forced to spend hours out of school collecting water, compromising their education.

Setting up the mural took over 12 hours
Setting up the mural took over 12 hours. Picture: WaterAid/ Sand In Your Eye

Tefy’s life has been transformed with clean water. He said, “We no longer fetch water down the hill anymore since we have taps in our school. The water here is very clean and fresh. We can open the taps and drink water whenever we want. We can wash our hands at any time and even bathe here if we want. 

“Every afternoon, after doing my homework, I always come near the school to play with my friends. We play football or hide and seek. I love being at school studying and being with my friends."

Former British No.1 tennis player Heather Watson is backing WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation as they champion clean water for all. 

Heather Watson said, “Together, we can help solve the water crisis. That’s why I’m supporting the work of WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation, to create a global community where everyone has the clean water they need to survive and thrive.”

Children helping create the mosaic
Children helping create the mosaic. Picture: WaterAid/Oliver Dixon

Paige Murphy, Head of the Wimbledon Foundation, said, “Children should have the chance to play, learn and look forward to their futures, no matter where they are born. But millions are being held back due to a lack of clean water and decent toilets – things that so many of us take for granted. It is humbling to think 11,000 children’s lives could be saved during The Championships if they had access to these essentials.

“That is why the Wimbledon Foundation and WaterAid are uniting to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a normal part of daily life for communities across the world. These vital services help relieve the burden on people’s time and energy and create new opportunities for education, paid work and raising a healthy family.”

The Wimbledon Foundation has been working in partnership with WaterAid since 2017 to help make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a normal part of daily life in healthcare centres and communities across Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi and Myanmar. A donation of £1.2 million over three years will transform people’s health, keep children in school, and allow women and girls to unlock their potential. 

The tennis balls for the mosaic were gifted by Slazenger, Official Ball of The Championships, and will be donated on to charities supported by the Wimbledon Foundation such as Rackets Cubed, a charity which delivers integrated racket sports, education and nutrition programmes to improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged young children. 

Find out more about WaterAid’s work at

June 20, 2022

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