London | Federer fronts Wimbledon’s crisis support

With play suspended for a year and the Championships cancelled for 2020, Wimbledon has enlisted eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer to narrate a new spot urging fans to cheer for a new kind of hero – the frontline health worker ‘champions’ who are competing for us against the coronavirus pandemic.


During this unprecedented time, we want to do all we can to support organisations working tirelessly to support individuals and communities affected by the coronavirus crisis. Bruce Weatherill, Chairman of the Wimbledon Foundation

The short film ends with Federer’s wish ‘that tomorrow will be better than today’.

To see the clip, visit or YouTube. is promoting next year’s dates of 28 June to 11 July 2021, and giving details of ways in which the Wimbledon Foundation, the charitable arm of The Club and The Championships, is addressing the crisis.

Alongside its five existing active grant programmes offering funding to projects helping to tackle social problems and address inequalities in the London boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth, the Wimbledon Foundation has enhanced its support through three new donations.

  • Support to local organisations delivering vital suppliers to the most vulnerable in the local community, with donations to Age UK Merton, Age UK Wandsworth, Glass Door Homeless Charity, the Merton Winter Night Shelter, Wandsworth Foodbank and Wimbledon Foodbank.
  • Support for the NHS through a donation to St George’s Hospital Charity’s Coronavirus Appeal, helping to fund medical equipment and supplies, provide mental health and welfare support to hospital staff and access to local accommodation for key NHS frontline staff to protect them and their families.
  • Support to AELTC’s local borough of Merton through a contribution to the Merton Giving Coronavirus Fund.

The Foundation will be match-funding the amount raise by the local business community in Merton, providing financial support to organisations working locally to deliver front line services or organisations impacted by the lockdown measures.

“During this unprecedented time, we want to do all we can to support organisations working tirelessly to support individuals and communities affected by the coronavirus crisis,” Bruce Weatherill, Chairman of the Wimbledon Foundation, said.

“These donations are a starting point and we are actively planning what more we can do to support those most in need.”

A nostalgic glimpse of The Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club

© AELTC/Jed Leicester

Meanwhile, One GlobalData predicts that events companies will look to secure pandemic coverage in future after seeing the expected payout to Wimbledon organisers

After it was reported that Wimbledon’s organisers will receive a huge payout, believed to be around £114 million, from its insurer to ease the financial burden of having to cancel The Championships, one analyst said other events are now likely to buy pandemic cover for the future.

According to data and analytics firm GlobalData’s sport-focused wing SportCal, Wimbledon earns AELTC $160m in media rights, $151m in sponsorship and around $52m in ticket sales annually.

Insurance analyst Ben Carey-Evans said: “Wimbledon has shown it is one step ahead of most businesses by having insurance in place for current events.

“It has been paying around £1.5m ($1.9m) per year in pandemic insurance since it took notice of the SARS outbreak in 2003.

“It has paid out roughly £25.5m ($32m) over the 17-year period, and it is set to recover around £114m ($142m), making it a very sensible investment.

“Reputable sporting events, such as the Premier League and The Open (golf), have been cancelled or postponed, causing the organisers to lose a lot of their investment.

“This unprecedented disruption to events caused by Covid-19, and the significant pay-out to Wimbledon will surely see all event organisers around the world look to invest in this product in the future.”

Despite alleviating some of the financial damage, the insurance claim is still likely to leave the organisation with substantial losses.

“Insurance represents damage limitation for the competition, and it will find itself in a much stronger position than most other events in the world during this period,” added Carey-Evans.

Sporting and music event organisers are likely to take note of the huge pandemic payout to Wimbledon

It is not just sporting events that have closed their doors due to Covid-19, with popular music festivals Glastonbury and Download cancelled for 2020, and Carey-Evans believes they too will take note of Wimbledon’s payout.

“This could see pandemic insurance move from being a niche product to an essential one for sports and music organisers,” he said.

“Insurers will face challenges in pricing premiums due to a sharp rise in popularity and the significant level of risk attached to the product.”

One solution touted by the industry to expand access to pandemic coverage for businesses, and by extension event organisers, is for governments to intervene and financially back policies so that insurers are protected from unsustainable claims.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.