On Thursday 15 June, 20 time grand slam winner Roger Federer visited Bostall Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, to officially open the Council’s revamped tennis courts.
The international tennis star was welcomed to the borough by Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities and Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Councillor Averil Lekau. Abbey Wood ward councillors Ann-Marie Cousins, Denise Hyland and Peter Baker were also in attendance, alongside the LTA Tennis Foundation Lead Tom Gibbins.
Roger Federer unveiled the two tennis courts, which are the first of six potential park tennis courts to be refurbished by the Royal Borough of Greenwich in partnership with the LTA and joined budding tennis stars from Alexander McLeod Primary School and Abbey Wood Tennis Club for a coaching session.
The courts have been painted in a unique and special design by the internationally acclaimed street art duo Low Bros, as part of his Neon Legacy initiative with Mercedes, with artwork completed through coordination with the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said: “To have the support of a sporting legend on this project, proves just how important park courts are in making tennis accessible to all in our local communities. We know Roger’s presence today will inspire the next generation of tennis players, whether that’s to pick up a racket for fun, to stay active or get involved competitively.
“Updating our tennis courts is just one of the many ways we are working to make sport and physical activity accessible to all through our Greenwich Get Active initiative. From swimming to pilates, I encourage residents to take up the many ways to get active across the borough.”
Councillor Averil Lekau, Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said, “Thank you to Roger, Mercedes and the Low Bros for bringing Bostall Gardens to life with their beautiful artwork, as well as the Friends of Bostall Gardens who have been such great support for this project. We are looking forward to working with the LTA on the next five potential courts we’ll be revamping.”
Roger Federer said, “It makes me really happy to be here in London where I have such great memories over the years – the Olympics, the O2 Arena and then as well at Wimbledon.
“This court is one of the most beautiful in the world and I’m so happy to give it back to the community. Tennis is such a great sport for everybody getting together and seeing each other and just hanging out as well at the court. I really hope this place is going to be a place where people love to come, the community, the neighbours, and just have the best times and create memories for a lifetime.”
Tom Gibbins, LTA Tennis Foundation lead said: “The Parks Tennis Project is a game-changing investment that has already seen hundreds of unplayable or poor quality courts across Britain refurbished for the benefit of local communities.
“We want to inspire as many people as possible to pick up a racket and play on their local courts and are delighted to have such an inspirational figure as Roger Federer supporting that mission.”