Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
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Two London schoolchildren will take centre stage at the ladies’ and gentlemen’s singles finals after being chosen to perform the pre-match coin toss at The Championships, Wimbledon, in front of an estimated worldwide audience of 1.2 billion.
Rebecca Jones (12) will take part in the Ladies’ Singles Final coin toss ceremony on Centre Court on Saturday 15 July, representing BBC Children in Need, which supports disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.
BBC Children in Need was nominated by the Wimbledon Foundation, the official charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships, to mark the 90th anniversary of the relationship between the BBC and Wimbledon.
In 2016, Rebecca lost her father after a four-year illness. Two BBC Children in Need funded projects – The Brain Tumour Charity and Princess Alice Hospice – assisted Rebecca and her family during and after her father’s illness with counselling services.
BBC Children in Need’s Chief Executive, Simon Antrobus said: “Rebecca’s story exemplifies the work of BBC Children in Need. Here we have two fantastic charities, that through the funding of the great British public, have been able to offer real hope and support to Rebecca and her family.”
Rebecca said: “When I heard I’d been chosen, I just felt so happy. When I walk onto court, I think I’ll be a mix of nervous and excited. It’ll be an amazing opportunity to be next to the amazing players that are in the Final.”
Luca Schmetzer (11), who attends Allfarthing Primary School, Wandsworth, will take part in the coin toss ceremony at the Gentlemen’s Singles Final on Sunday 16 July, representing Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity which provides emotional and therapeutic services in schools across the country helping children cope with issues including bullying, bereavement and family breakdown.
The Wimbledon Foundation invited HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to nominate a charity in her new role as Patron of the All England Club. The Duchess said: “I was delighted to nominate Place2Be to be involved with the Gentlemen's Singles Coin Toss. As Patron of both Place2Be and the All England Club, this is a unique opportunity to bring together two wonderful organisations.
"The past few years have seen a huge positive shift in attitudes towards mental health and the importance of giving children the tools to understand and manage their emotions from a young age. Place2Be enables children around the country to cope with their worries and engage with their learning to help reach their full potential. I am thrilled that the Wimbledon Foundation is giving Luca, who has benefited hugely from Place2Be's support, this once-in-a lifetime opportunity to step out onto Centre Court and showcase the excellent work of Place2Be on the world stage.”
On being chosen Luca said: “It’s very hard to believe. There are so many children who could have been chosen and I got chosen. It is such an honour. I’m most looking forward to taking a photo on Centre Court with the Finalists and tossing the coin in front of the whole stadium.”
Helen Parker, Wimbledon Foundation & Community Manager said, “The Wimbledon Foundation’s aim is to use the resources and heritage of Wimbledon to help change people’s lives and we are delighted to be able to give Rebecca and Luca, and the two fantastic charities they are representing, this amazing opportunity to take centre stage at The Championships.”
Rebecca and Luca will enjoy a tour of the Clubhouse and lunch in the Competitors’ Restaurant before the match. They will be assisted in their on-court duties by Andrew Jarrett, Championships Referee.
The Wimbledon Foundation is the charity of The All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships. Its mission is to change people’s lives using the resources and heritage of Wimbledon. The Wimbledon Foundation is a registered charity (1156996) and a company limited by guarantee (8559364). www.wimbledon.com/foundation
BBC Children in Need
BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential. The charity will realise this vision by supporting, promoting, and publicising work that addresses the challenges that children and young people face and work that builds their skills and resilience. BBC Children in Need is currently supporting 2,400 projects in communities across the UK that are helping children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma. Further information about BBC Children in Need can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/Pudsey
Place2Be provides emotional therapeutic services in 282 primary and secondary schools, building children’s resilience through talking, creative work and play. Place2Be reaches a school population of 116,000 children, helping them to cope with wide-ranging and often complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown, neglect and trauma. Place2Be is a registered charity (1040756 and SC038649). www.place2be.org.uk