Who are the real stars at the Wimbledon Championships?
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To identify and celebrate the people who work hard to put on an event such as the Wimbledon Championships.
Preparation and materials
You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Wimbledon Stars) and the means to display them.
Optional: you may wish to have a reader for the Bible passage, 1 Corinthians 12.14-22 in the New Living Translation.
Show Slide 1.
Ask the students the following questions and wait for their responses.
- How many of you enjoy following Wimbledon?
- Who do you think will win Wimbledon this year?
- Who is your favourite tennis star?
Show Slide 2 - the image of Andy Murray.
The tennis players who take part in the Wimbledon Championships have spent many years training. They have spent thousands of hours in all sorts of weather, practising their skills, aiming to become the best players they can possibly be. The dedication shown by all of the players is amazing, but unfortunately, there can be only one winner each year. Everyone else will be left disappointed to some extent. All of the players who take part are stars. They are seen on television, named in papers and cheered on by thousands of fans!
However, there are more stars in the Wimbledon Championships than just the players. Here are some of the people involved in the actual tennis matches.
Show Slide 3.
Last year, almost 485,000 people attended Wimbledon, with roughly 39,000 spectators in the grounds at one time.
Show Slide 4.
About 250 ball boys and ball girls are hired for Wimbledon. They are chosen from around 750 entries. To become a ball boy or a ball girl, you must undergo a rigorous training routine that involves sprinting, catching balls, rolling balls and even standing perfectly still for an hour in high temperatures. However, no training can prepare you for being hit with a 120 mph serve!
Show Slide 5.
Many people are involved in the actual tennis matches.
Show Slide 6.
There are seven ball distributors, 151 court attendants, 20 ground staff and 350 umpires.
Although the ground staff are not widely considered stars, Wimbledon could not run without them. Imagine the matches being played if there were no white lines!
There are 14 physiotherapists who work with the players. They may not be seen very often, but they are always around in case a player needs attention on the court.
The figures that we've mentioned relate to the people who are involved in the actual tennis matches. However, there are many more people who are busy making sure that about half a million spectators are well cared for and safe. The spectators want to sit in clean stadiums, have food to eat and be generally well looked after.
Show Slide 7.
Many people look after the spectators.
Show Slide 8.
- 191 night cleaners who clean up when everyone has gone home after the excitement of the day.
- 114 cleaners on hand each day to keep the place spick and span.
- 30 people who look after the left luggage.
- 30 people who work the lifts, paying particular attention to the needs of disabled or elderly people.
- 700 security guards who make sure that the grounds are safe.
- Over 1,800 catering staff.
Show Slide 9.
Many people enjoy the food! Over half a million people visit Wimbledon each year, and all of them want something to eat.
Show Slide 10.
Here is a list of the food that was served during the tournament in 2015:
- 190,000 sandwiches
- 130,000 lunches
- 207,000 meals
- 32,000 portions of fish and chips
- 6,000 stone-baked pizzas
- 40,000 char-grilled meals
- 60,000 sausage baguettes
- 142,000 portions of strawberries
Show Slide 11.
There were also 320 transport service drivers. These were the people who transported the 23 tonnes of strawberries served, which were picked from all over Kent and taken to the grounds at 5.30 a.m. every day, ready for preparation and serving!
- In addition to the people who look after the actual tennis matches and the people who look after the spectators, there are some other staff.
- 38 media staff, who enable us to sit in the comfort of our homes to watch the tournament.
- Last, but not least, there is Rufus, the harrier hawk!
Show Slide 12 - the image of Rufus.
Rufus is a Harris Hawk who visits the Club most weeks during the year to provide a deterrent to local pigeons by making them aware of a predator in the grounds. This persuades the pigeons to roost elsewhere. Rufus flies around the stadium for one hour at 9 a.m. on most mornings of the Wimbledon Championships, before the gates are open. You might not think that this makes Rufus a star, but it does stop all the spectators from being bombarded with pigeon droppings!
- Most of the people who are listed above would not call themselves stars. However, they all play a vital part in the smooth running and enjoyment of Wimbledon. There are several hundred of them, and they are all in their place, doing a job for which they have been trained, working as a team and giving their best.
- If we were to apply these ideas to our school community, I wonder who we would regard as the stars. Is a head teacher more important than the teachers? Are the pupils more important than the cook? The answer is that each person is vital to the smooth running of the school. Everyone is special, everyone is a star.
Show Slide 13.
Time for reflection
Read, or ask a student to read, the Bible passage 1 Corinthians 12.14-22.
Everyone is important. Each of us has a role to play in every situation in which we find ourselves.
Thank you that, in your eyes, all people are equal.
Thank you that you see value in each person.
Please help us to view each other in the same way.
Please help us to use our gifts and talents in service to others.