Launched in 2012 to coincide with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Wimbledon Sporting Project is a five-year educational programme which includes films, books and sporting activities provided to schools in the London Borough of Merton at no cost.
TVF is delighted to be working with local businesses, local partners, sporting celebrities and volunteers to create a lasting and innovative sporting legacy across Merton. The project seeks to combine the spirit and success of the 2012 Olympics with local sporting heritage to inspire school children and to empower them to live healthy and active lives.
In 2012, 87 individuals, 39 local partners, 18 young sporting hopefuls and 21 sporting celebrities, all donated their time, expertise and resources to produce an inspirational film and book for school children. The response to the Common Ground film and book has been exceptional, with over 5,000 school children benefiting from free copies which were distributed to every school in the Borough thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The next phase of the project will continue over 2013 and 2014 and will see TVF working in partnership with local businesses to build on this foundation and deliver free sporting opportunities to 27,000 school children in Merton. To date over 3,000 school children have received free professional sporting opportunities as part of the programme.
Common Ground – The Film and Book
For over 150 years Wimbledon has created sporting triumph. Common Ground tells the unique story of how Wimbledon Common changed history. Common Ground explores how a number of unexpected factors came together to enable a small patch of common ground to play such an important role in Britain’s Sporting History.
From investigating the humble beginnings of sport in Wimbledon, Common Ground explores sport today, looking at how football, tennis, cricket, rugby, running and hockey bloomed into sports played globally. The film and book presents inspiring stories from champions from each of these sports and presents their views on what makes sport so special. Over 3,000 volunteer hours were donated to create this special film and book for children. Every individual taking part volunteered freely with no one having personal expenses reimbursed. It is estimated that the film and book would of cost over £100,000 to produce but thanks to a robust partner ecosystem, it only cost £400.
In May 2012, the Common Ground film premièred at the Odeon in Wimbledon, bringing together celebrities, corporate donors and schools to provide sustainable sports education to schools across Merton. Working in partnership with the Merton Chamber of Commerce, the Common Ground film and book is currently being distributed to all Merton schools free of charge thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund who funded the production costs.
Celebrities supporting the film and book include; Jacquie Beltrao, Greg Rusedski, Will Greenwood, Steve Cram, Daley Thompson, Alec Stewart, Sean Kerly, John Scales, Lawrie Sanchez, Victor Ubogu, Mark Butcher, Dewi Morris, Annabel Croft, Sue Mappin, Alex Best, Ainsley Harriott, Eamonn Holmes, John Inverdale, Rodney Marsh, Adrian Mills and Theo Paphitis.
However, the stars of the film were not the celebrities but infact teenagers and school children from the local area who are inspired by sport. These include; Chole-Poppy Halliday, Emma Britton, George Rounce, Ross Trimmings, Laurence Copeman, Henry Peuble, Jack Dunley, Zac Jennings, Fergus Clark, Rory Jones, Alex Burrell, Giovanni Capello, Lorena Symes, Yu Bin Kim, Bella Burdett, Thibault Haque, Edward Smith and Alex Fordman.
Professional sports coaching to schools
Building on this momentum there have been eight sport engagement programmes where professional instructors have delivered tailored sport packages directly to children on school premises. To date the programmes have enabled 3,480 school children to participate in a variety of sports. The feedback has been amazing…
“The sports have been brilliant. The children have really loved playing so many sports throughout the week and in such a fun manner. All of the instructors were excellent; we were impressed with how they presented the sports to the children. The cricket session was especially excellent as this is a sport we do not really play in the school – my own class loved that session and we had to play again the day after. The instructor managed to show all the children how much fun cricket could be. We will have a lot of children signing up for various sports after this. Please sign us right up for the next one!”
Finn Coughlan, Pelham Primary School
How can you help
We would like your help to deliver this opportunity to all local schools across Merton, empowering children to achieve both in their sporting life and create personal growth within your local community. There are a variety of sponsorship packages available for local businesses, with a wide selection of tiered benefits including marketing and advertising opportunities, a private screening of The Common Ground film and a competitive corporate sports day for your employees.
Sponsorship costs from £725 per school.
To discuss how we can work together to deliver sporting opportunities for children in Merton please contact the TVF team today.