AELTC announces ‘thank you’ theme for Wimbledon Championships 2021

Wimbledon thank you and tim henman

The All England Lawn tennis Club has launched campaign dedicating this year’s Wimbledon Championships to saying thank you to those across the nation who have helped battle the COVID pandemic.

As the world famous tournament gets under way, the club said it wants to recognise the commitment and dedication of many across the country who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

It’s been more than 700 days since the last ball was struck at the legendary event, and the AELTC said the  exciting return of The Championships this year could not have gone ahead without the commitment and dedication of many across the country.

It said it plans to recognise this collective effort throughout the tournament.

two children pose with charlie mackesy designed card.
Game, set, thanks: Two youngsters pose by the card.

Wimbledon Royal Box 

At Chairman Ian Hewitt’s invitation, the Royal Box will feature a series of special guests on a daily basis, beginning on the first day with the inspiring leaders in the development of Covid vaccines; dedicated NHS medical staff leading clinical trials as well as those engaged in critical care; NHS nursing staff honoured for their services during the pandemic; inspirational workers in the community and for Transport of London, and one of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughters.

In order to say thank you, the AELTC has provided 100 daily Centre and No.1 Court tickets to various groups ranging from the NHS to Transport For London, from teachers and PE teachers to theatre, music groups and other inspirational individuals, all in recognition of the service they have provided to those in their communities throughout the pandemic.

“The collective response to the pandemic has prompted extraordinary acts from so many across the country”, AELTC Chairman, Ian Hewitt, said. 

“As we come together to celebrate the return of The Championships, on behalf of everyone at Wimbledon, I would like to say thank you. 

“We want Wimbledon to be for everyone, and we hope that this small gesture adds to the community spirit this year.”

National Thank You Day

As part of the Thank You theme, Wimbledon is getting behind National Thank You Day on 4 July. 

The AELTC will be hosting the unveiling of a national thank you card designed by author and illustrator Charlie Mackesy and signed by school children across the UK. 

The card will be unveiled on The Hill at Wimbledon by two local school children, pictured in front of a Thank You message from the ground staff. 

Tennis players competing this year also added their signatures to the card before it travels to its next destination. It will also be signed by other tennis legends such as Tim Henman (main photo).

Ukraine's elina svitolina signs the huge card.
Match point: Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina signs the huge card along with many other stars.

Mackesy said: “The past eighteen months have been hard for so many people. One of the few positives is that it has brought many of our communities closer together.

“I hope that Thank You Day provides us all a chance to get together and thank those who made the pandemic bearable.”

On National Thank You Day itself, which will see hundreds of organisations from the NHS to the Scouts, the Royal Voluntary Service to the Football Association say thank you to those who have helped us through the past eighteen months, the AELTC and the LTA will jointly be delivering ‘Middle Sunday Opened Up.’ 

A tennis clinic on the public tennis courts in Wimbledon Park, the aim is to celebrate the local community .

Former England footballer, member of the AELTC, and Thank You Day ambassador Graeme Le Saux added: “It’s great to see Wimbledon highlighting the efforts of so many groups and individuals who have helped us all get through the challenges of the pandemic. 

“Sports, like tennis and football, have a unique power to engage and bring people together, so to have the very pinnacle of sport leading the nation in saying a big ‘thank you’ on Sunday 4 July shows us just how important it is to celebrate people’s sacrifices, and getting back to normal.”