New Delhi: Former British Davis Cup Captain and Tournament Director of the Road to Wimbledon, Paul Hutchins declared the launch of an initiative for Delhi’s poorest children at the DLTA grounds today. A joint initiative of the Wimbledon Foundation, the charity of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, and Magic Bus, the children’s non-profit organisation, the initiative is an exciting new programme to spur overall development of 2,000 children from marginalised backgrounds in Delhi using tennis and other sports.
Speaking about the partnership, Paul Hutchins said, “I am really pleased about this link between the Wimbledon Foundation and Magic Bus. It is exciting and pleasing for us to introduce tennis into the Magic Bus approach to bring children out of poverty. This activity will work well alongside our current involvement in India via the AITA with the Road to Wimbledon junior programme”.
The programme will pursue serious development goals such as getting children back to school, improving their learning outcomes and increasing understanding of areas such health practices, nutrition, and the importance equal opportunities for girls and boys.
Anil Khanna, President All India Tennis Association welcomed the initiative between the Wimbledon Foundation and Magic Bus. “We are aware of the positive reputation of Magic Bus and the expanding work of the Wimbledon Foundation. We have enjoyed our links to the activity so far and look forward to continuing over the coming year.”
Helen Parker, Wimbledon Foundation & Community Manager said: “We are delighted to launch the Wimbledon Foundation-Magic Bus Project. We hope that the project will have a demonstrable impact on the children’s development in schools and marginalised communities taking part and we are looking forward to seeing the project in action.”
Pratik Kumar, Magic Bus CEO said, “We are delighted to be working with the Wimbledon Foundation together with the All Indian Tennis Association to develop children using the power of tennis and the Magic Bus approach”.
The Wimbledon Foundation, alongside the All India Tennis Association (AITA), is assisting in the delivery of the project by providing tennis training and advice in developing the tennis-related aspects of the Magic Bus approach. The Wimbledon Foundation is also providing full funding for this pilot project.
The launch of this project builds on the success of the Road to Wimbledon in India, an All England Lawn Tennis Club initiative in partnership with HSBC and the AITA aimed at boosting the development of junior tennis in India.
About The Wimbledon Foundation
The Wimbledon Foundation is the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Using the heritage and resources of Wimbledon, the Wimbledon Foundation’s principal aim is to bring together and enhance in a coordinated and effective way the extensive programme of community and charitable activities previously undertaken by The All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships.
About Magic Bus
Magic Bus works with 300,000 children and 8,000 young people in over 2000 slum communities in 22 states in India. The organisation works towards breaking the poverty cycle, one child at a time. It uses an innovative mentoring-based approach involving activities and sports to pursue serious developmental goals in areas such as education and gender equality.
About The Road to Wimbledon
The HSBC Road to Wimbledon National 14 and Under Tournament in the UK is the largest junior tournament on grass in the UK. Begun in 2002 and involving clubs, parks and schools for juniors 14 & Under. 700 clubs, parks and schools participate through to 44 county finals and 128 boys & girls qualifying for the National Finals played on grass at Wimbledon.
2014 saw India host the first Road to Wimbledon tennis events staged outside the UK, in Delhi and Mumbai. In January 2015 The Road to Wimbledon visited Kolkata, Chandigarh, Mumbai and Delhi, with the Masters taking place in Delhi in April.