The Wimbledon Foundation has launched a new youth leadership programme in partnership with children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust.
The new two-year programme aims to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in the UK the opportunity to develop life and leadership skills through mentoring sessions delivered by athletes who go into schools and act as mentors.
Provisionally due to begin in September 2020, 320 young people are expected to take part in the pilot programme, with a curriculum that has been developed specifically for the Wimbledon Foundation, building on the expertise of the Youth Sport Trust.
Year 10 and 11 students will attend regular sessions at school delivered by teachers and Youth Sport Trust athlete mentors. These will aim to develop the young people’s skills and confidence, and will see them take part in sport and physical activity as well as engage in active learning. They will also be encouraged to become young leaders in their local communities.
“Inspiring the next generation and creating opportunities for young people to gain life skills is one of the four goals of the Wimbledon Foundation," said Helen Parker, Head of the Wimbledon Foundation.
“Our aim is that Set For Success will give young people facing challenges the skills and confidence to make the most of every opportunity and succeed in every aspect of their life in future.”
Eight athlete mentors from the Youth Sport Trust represent a range of different sporting backgrounds - from tennis, athletics and swimming, to in-line skating, Thai boxing and judo. The mentors will work with young people schools across the UK, beginning in Portsmouth, Cardiff, Knowsley in Merseyside, and Nottingham, using their personal experiences as world class athletes as inspiration.
Emily Reynolds, National Programmes Director at the Youth Sport Trust, added: “We are thrilled to partner with the Wimbledon Foundation on this exciting new initiative which embodies Wimbledon’s values and ongoing pursuit of greatness. Set For Success is about teaching the mindset of an athlete, to help young people get set for success in life. Our experienced athlete mentors will help young people to think and act like an athlete, believe in their ability and be ready to achieve whatever they set out to do.”
While the 2020 edition of Wimbledon was originally planned to kick off on 29th June, the cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic has seen The Championships work with its partners and media outlets to produce The Greatest Championships - a series of some of the best matches in Wimbledon history, covering the action from the first round onwards.