London | Jamie Murray supports Grenfell victims and families
JAMIE Murray knows first-hand about tragedy. He and younger brother Andy escaped harm during the Dunblane massacre at their primary school in 1996 when 16 children and a teacher were shot dead.
It is a really great cause the sports centre’s put on because they helped to shelter and feed a lot of the people affected when it was going off a year ago. It was great to come down and try to help out as best I can. Jamie Murray
And it was a no-brainer for him to support the fund-raising campaign run by Everyone Active and the Westway Sports & Fitness Centre for those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The #Rally4Grenfell campaign, for which Tennis Threads is the Official Media partner, was launched with a tennis festival featuring 1,700 schoolchildren in the shadow of Grenfell at the Westway Sports Centre in North Kensington.
Murray, 32, a five-time Grand Slam champion, ‘hit’ with the kids and posed for pictures while taking time off from his effort to try and successfully defend his Queen’s men’s double title with partner Bruno Soares.
He said to Tennis Threads: “Obviously we experienced something terrible ourselves at our school in Dunblane. Can understand what the people around here were going through. Lost loved ones or people they knew, Friends. Family. Can certainly relate to it and understand what they’d be going through.
“Obviously it (the Grenfell fire) is a great tragedy. So many people were affected within this community. Sad to think that something like that could happen here in London.
“But we came to help raise money for the families. The victims affected. The community too. It is a really great cause the sports centre’s put on because they helped to shelter and feed a lot of the people affected when it was going off a year ago. It was great to come down and try to help out as best I can.”
British women’s ace Emily Webley-Smith, 33, also mixed with the kids at the festival.
She said: “I was home when it happened, glued to the television. I felt so strongly about the cause , when I was asked to come to the Westway. Seeing all the public and the people in this area getting involved was amazing to see.
“Absolutely great to have seen so many children being active and getting involved at the festival. Tennis is a sport they’ve not had much exposure too at grassroots level. It’s getting better and the festival was an example of that. That’s great.
“All sorts of shapes and sizes? That’s what we wanted. Get more children playing across all walks of life. So, as a country, we’ve got more chance of success in tennis. But also getting more children to enjoy the game. It’s a great cause as well.”
A charity auction was launched on May 21. To bid for a prize or donate visit: www.ebay.co.uk/usr/westwaysportsandfitness.
Donate cash by texting RFGC99, / £3, £5 or £10 to 70070 or visit #Rally4Grenfell JustGiving website: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rally4grenfell.
#RALLY4GRENFELL video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mis8-JqORI&feature=youtu.be
#RALLY4GRENFELL shortened video for Instagram: www.instagram.com/p/BjFS9KyD780/?taken-by=westwaysports.