On Saturday 25th June, current and former students, staff and parents of Wimbledon High School were joined by representatives from the All England Club, the Girls’ Day School Trust and the local community at Nursery Road, to officially open the school’s newly developed Sports Pavilion. The site of the original Championships from 1877 to 1922, the pavilion has been extensively reconfigured and the students’ facilities upgraded.
Head Jane Lunnon said: “It is wonderful to think of the history of this site, home to the first Lawn Tennis Championship, held here on 9 July 1877 and won by Spencer Gore. The years that followed saw the rise of the Women’s game (in full Edwardian dress!) and the 1908 London Olympics. We were delighted to find out that one of our alumnae visiting on Saturday was granddaughter to one of those OIympians.
“What was important to us, as we progressed the project, was to retain and indeed celebrate the heritage of the building, while modernising the facilities for our girls and visiting sports teams. We hope all are inspired to achieve great things – not just on the tennis court, but in hockey, netball, athletics, rowing and our new sport, cricket!”
With 150 people in attendance, including Ulrika Hogberg, Foundation & Community Manager of the AELTC and key supporter of the project, the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Brenda Fraser, cut the ribbon and wished the school every success, while two Wimbledon High tennis players, Hannah Klugman and Momoko Yamafuji, served the first tennis balls of this new era for sport at the grounds.
The event was followed by a Summer Fun Day, organised by the Friends of WHS and sponsored by local estate agents Andrew Scott Robertson.