WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation unveil giant tennis court mosaic to ‘make a racket’ about clean water


WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation took over a tennis court at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, to create a giant mosaic. The image is of a young boy and his mother enjoying clean water and is created entirely from tennis nets, balls and rackets.
The artwork highlights a powerful message: that more than 1,000 children’s lives could be saved each day of The Championships if they had access to safe water, toilets and hygiene*.

It took a team of artists from Sand in Your Eye nine hours to create the striking image on one of Wimbledon’s grass tennis courts next to the iconic Centre Court. Unveiled today, less than a month before the world’s most watched tennis event begins, the image features 18-month-old Dylan and his mother Anja, 23, from Antsakambahiny village in Madagascar who, with the help of WaterAid and the Wimbledon Foundation, now have clean water** in their community.
Across the world, a staggering 703 million people – nearly one in 10 – are living without clean water close to home and 1.5 billion people – nearly one in five – do not have a decent toilet of their own. Almost half of hospitals, healthcare centres and doctor’s surgeries in the world’s least developed countries lack clean water.

Without access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene, children’s lives are needlessly and often tragically put at risk. Almost 400,000 children under five die every year due to diseases caused by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid has revealed that’s more than 1,000 children a day – nearly one child every one and a half minutes. Many more are frequently ill, and often children are forced to spend hours out of school collecting water and compromising their education.

Anja, 23, a local schoolteacher and mum to Dylan, says:

“As a mother, what matters most in life is Dylan and his future. Water is close now, which gives me more time to be with him, to play with him and to educate him at home. Dylan doesn’t get diarrhoea or sick often because the water we use is clean and healthy. Dylan is an easy little boy. He is amiable, he likes playing and he is curious. He’s also a little funny.

“As a teacher, what matters most to me is to do my best at educating my pupils – to do what is needed to help them succeed. Before we got running water at school, we used to send some of our older pupils to collect waterfrom the pond down the hill. Then we had to ration what they got. Now, teachers and pupils can drink water anytime we want. Pupils can wash their hands at any time they need. They are now able to play and just be kids. They can focus on their studies and have more time to read books at our library.”

Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive at WaterAid, said:

“Clean water is a game changer; it has the power to unlock people’s potential meaning children like Dylan can grow up healthy and communities can thrive. It means less time wasted walking to collect water, and more time to learn, work and play. But nearly one in 10 people around the world live without this essential resource close to home.

“This giant tennis mosaic, at Wimbledon’s world-famous grounds, is a poignant reminder of how more than 1,000 children’s lives could be saved each day of The Championships if everyone, everywhere had safe water, toilets and hygiene.

“Together with the Wimbledon Foundation, WaterAid is working tirelessly to call game, set and match on the water crisis and create a world in which all of us can survive and thrive.”