Another day at worked beckoned, and another hat challenge. This time, Wimbledon, attending the British Venture Capital Association charity day on behalf of Chatham Financial, supporting Impetus-PEF.
The day started with breakfast at the Ivy Café Wimbledon with Belinda Eriksson of SW19 Lawyers, a local law firm specialising in commercial and employment law, and Lady Wimbledon. What a great venue to kick start the day and network with like-minded people – tea, coffee, pastries, salmon…
We had a wide ranging conversation with many areas of overlap – contacts, risks, opportunities, business development, local vs regional vs national, Wimbledon as a destination all year round etc. I continue to be amazed by the high quality of businesses and entrepreneurs based in the area.
Breakfast over and successful hat delivery to me courtesy of Lady Wimbledon (of course), I made a quick pit‑stop in Bayley & Sage for a few light snacks to keep me and my guest going through the afternoon in the event of a long match – honestly, words cannot express how amazing their salted caramel chocolate brownie (gluten free) really is. Then finally, I was on my way to the hallowed grounds of the All England Club, feeling a little worried that the first thing on the agenda was lunch!
I will not dwell on lunch, other than to say I was glad I had been to The Ivy Café beforehand. But the tennis and the overall experience…well that is worth a little time.
We had debenture seats on Centre Court, behind the royal box and a little to the left, with an amazing view. I am not sure there can be a bad view in the house given the intimacy of the court, and that fact that it is not over-sized (think US Open).
Serena Williams kicked off proceedings defeating Amra Sadikovic in two sets, but it was not an entirely one-sided affair. Serena has a win-loss record of 80-10 at Wimbledon, so was always going to be favourite to win, but the game was an absolute pleasure to watch, with incredible power and skill on display from both players. [Note: for those hoping to catch a glimpse of Serena or Venus, they have been spotted out and about in the Village so keep your eyes peeled.]
The Andy Murray match, vs compatriot Liam Broady, was quite similar to the Serena match in many ways – it was powerful, a pleasure to watch, but with little doubt about the outcome, although there was definite tension in the air towards the end as Andy seemed to stiffen up.
Two more matches followed from the ladies singles, with the Centre Court ticket-holders benefiting from the rain with an extra match being moved into the main court. Kuznetsova vs Wozniacki and Vandeweghe vs Bondarenko both went with the favourite, being played under the closed roof. I expect Centre Court ticket-holders will benefit from this all week, and possibly into next.
As I made my way home munching on my chocolate brownie (sadly my client had passed on the opportunity), I spotted Andy Murray’s gold post box. Not a single person was stopping and I wondered if they knew it was there. We are blessed in Wimbledon with two of these post boxes – this one and one on Worple Road, outside Sainsburys, for Sophie Hosking, gold medalist in the Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls (rowing).
You can find the complete list here: www.goldpostboxes.com
If you are interested in taking up tennis, there a numerous local clubs or you can look at the LTA website: www.lta.org.uk
Impetus-PEF helps transform the lives of 11-24 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the support they need to succeed in education, find and keep jobs, and achieve their potential. They find the most promising charities and social enterprises that work with these young people and help them become highly effective organisations that transform lives; then we help them expand significantly so as to dramatically increase the number of young people they serve. The support ranges from provision of management expertise, through pro bono support from experts across a range of areas to long-term funding.
By Victoria Bell