Wimbledon is a showcase of tennis excellence and a celebration of diversity and inclusion. The prestigious tournament, which has been held since 1877, attracts players and fans worldwide who share a passion for the sport and its traditions. Wimbledon is committed to making tennis accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of age, disability, gender identity, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Wimbledon’s varied organization encourages inclusivity.
One of the ways that Wimbledon promotes diversity and inclusion is by having a diverse and inclusive organization behind it. The All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which organizes Wimbledon, has a Diversity and Inclusion Policy that states its vision to “confront and eliminate discrimination” in all aspects of its operations. The AELTC also has a new leadership team that reflects this vision: Sally Bolton became the first female chief executive officer in 2020, while Ian Hewitt succeeded Philip Brook as chairman. Both Bolton and Hewitt have expressed their desire to make Wimbledon more diverse and inclusive in terms of players, staff, partners, and spectators.
Wimbledon fosters inclusion by promoting tennis participation at all levels.
Another way that Wimbledon celebrates diversity and inclusion is by supporting initiatives that aim to increase participation and representation in tennis at all levels. For example, Wimbledon works closely with British Tennis, which is the umbrella organization for the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Tennis Scotland, Tennis Wales, and the Tennis Foundation. British Tennis has a Diversity and Inclusion Policy that outlines its goals to “make tennis diverse by attracting people from different backgrounds” and “make tennis inclusive by ensuring people feel valued.” Some of the programs that British Tennis runs or supports include:
– The SERVES program, which delivers tennis sessions in community venues such as parks, youth clubs, and mosques
– The Open Court program, which provides opportunities for disabled people to play tennis
– She Rallies program, which encourages more women and girls to get involved in tennis
– The Advantage program, which offers mentoring and scholarships for young players from disadvantaged backgrounds
– The LTA Youth program, which introduces children aged 4-18 to tennis through fun activities
Wimbledon also celebrates diversity and inclusion by showcasing the achievements of players from different backgrounds who have made history at the tournament. Some examples are:
– Althea Gibson, who became the first black player to win Wimbledon in 1957.
– Arthur Ashe, who became the first black man to win Wimbledon in 1975.
– Martina Navratilova, who won a record nine singles titles at Wimbledon between 1978 and 1990.
– Billie Jean King, who won six singles titles at Wimbledon between 1966 and 1975.
– Roger Federer, who won eight singles titles at Wimbledon between 2003 and 2017.
– Serena Williams, who won seven singles titles at Wimbledon between 2002 and 2016.
These are just some of the ways that Wimbledon demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusion. By doing so, Wimbledon not only honors its rich heritage but also embraces its bright future as a global event that celebrates tennis excellence as well as human diversity.